Losing your life is not something that anyone wants to think about. However, it is a reality that we all face at some point in our lives.
As a Christian, it is important to understand what Jesus says about losing your life. In this article, we will explore what Jesus teaches us about this difficult topic.
What Does It Mean to Lose Your Life?
When we talk about losing our lives, we are not necessarily talking about physical death. Losing your life can also mean giving up parts of yourself, such as your desires, ambitions, and dreams. It can mean sacrificing your own wants and needs for the sake of others or for a greater purpose.
What Does Jesus Say About Losing Your Life?
Jesus speaks about losing our lives in several places in the Bible. One such passage is found in Matthew 16:24-26:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?’”
In this passage, Jesus tells us that if we want to be his disciples, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. This means that we must put aside our own desires and follow Jesus’ example of selflessness and sacrifice.
Jesus goes on to say that those who try to save their own lives will lose them. This means that if we focus solely on ourselves and our own desires, we will ultimately end up empty and unfulfilled.
On the other hand, those who lose their lives for Jesus’ sake will find true life. By giving up our own desires and following Jesus, we will find a sense of purpose and fulfillment that cannot be found anywhere else.
Examples of Losing Your Life for Jesus
There are many examples throughout history of people who have lost their lives for Jesus’ sake. One such example is the apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament and was willing to suffer greatly for his faith.
In Philippians 3:7-8, Paul writes:
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
Paul gave up everything he had in order to follow Jesus. He considered it all garbage compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
Another example is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and pastor who opposed the Nazi regime during World War II. Bonhoeffer was eventually arrested and executed for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler.
Throughout his life, Bonhoeffer had a deep commitment to following Jesus’ example of selflessness and sacrifice. He wrote:
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
For Bonhoeffer, following Jesus meant being willing to give up everything – even his own life – in order to stand up against injustice and evil.
The Benefits of Losing Your Life
While losing your life may seem like a difficult and even scary thing to do, there are many benefits that come with it. By giving up our own desires and following Jesus’ example of selflessness, we can experience true joy, peace, and fulfillment.
Jesus himself promises us that those who lose their lives for his sake will find true life. This true life is not something that can be found in material possessions or worldly success, but only in a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus.
Losing your life is not an easy thing to do. However, as Christians, we are called to follow Jesus’ example of selflessness and sacrifice. By giving up our own desires and following Jesus, we can experience true joy, peace, and fulfillment.
Let us take inspiration from the examples of those who have gone before us – like Paul and Bonhoeffer – who were willing to give up everything for the sake of Christ. And let us remember Jesus’ promise that those who lose their lives for his sake will find true life.