For most of my life I have struggled to nail down what it is that I want to be “when I grow up”.
I’ve had many whims and ideas over the years – cop, writer, superhero, cage fighter – but it seems that I’m always thinking about money or prestige. “How much money will I make a year?” – “Will I be able to buy a big house?” – “How famous can I become?” I do alot of thinking about what these jobs are going to do for me.
Then there are days like today, when I’m washing my sons bottles and I’m left alone with my thoughts and the sound of running water. I use moments like these to contemplate my life and reflect, yet mid-scrub I was interrupted with an epiphany.
An epiphany is typically defined as “A manifestation of Christ to gentiles” but I believe that’s what best describes what happened to me.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:4
While I didn’t see Christ physically, I believe it was His Holy Spirit that suddenly manifested this verse in my brain interrupting my selfish focus.
Am I trying to save my life? What am I living for? Better yet, WHO am I living for? We all live for something and we all live for someone. I get so caught up in this world, trying to plan out my future and attempting to build my life – yet Jesus tells me that I have no life apart from Him. Whatever I attempt to build on my own, I will lose.
Jesus says that if I want real life, then I have to give up my life for Him.
But what does that mean? How do I lose my life for Christ? When I was younger I heard this verse and assumed it had to do with becoming a martyr. I had this idea that people had to literally die for Him. Now that I’m older I feel that I have more clarity on the verse and I see a much deeper spiritual application for every day life.
Every moment that I’m alive I have two choices that I can make. I can live for self – thinking of myself, looking out for myself, helping myself, loving myself – this would be living selfishly. Or, I could live for others – thinking of others, looking out for others, helping others, loving others – this would be living for Christ.
When I am living for self, I am seeking to save my life but in the end I will lose it.
When I am living for others, I am losing my life for Christ, and I will find it.
It’s so easy to be selfish – it’s my default mode, but by His strength I hope to tear my focus away from myself and put others first. Instead of trying to figure out what I can do with my life to make more money or to move up the ladder, I hope to think of myself less and instead try to find ways that I can love others. How can I enrich and improve the lives of those around me right now? How can I help the poor and needy right now? Instead of figuring out how I can make more for myself, and secure a better financial future – I want to figure out how I can give to others what I already have.
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” – Matthew 16:26
My goal for 2013 is to lose my life for Christ.