A Life Worth Dying To
Death and the fear of dying seem to be one of the most instinctual fears in life. We buy life insurance, which most often is never used, to mitigate the fear of potentially losing a loved one. We even fear dying with regrets of an un-lived life. The interesting twist on all of this death business is that for the follower of Jesus, the very thing we fear is the very promise of life – Life through death.
A major part of the journey toward being made complete involves learning to die well. Let me explain. The biblical narrative involves a hero that willingly laid down his life for all of humanity, and this not for himself, but for the sake of others, that they might truly live and enjoy life.
Jesus himself explained it this way in Matthew 16:24-26. “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
The famous Christian theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” The lie of this world is that life comes with having more. More… money, success, sex, fame, friends, travel, pleasure etc. As we see from the life and words of Jesus, the opposite is what is true and real. A person could actually “gain the whole world” and still forfeit life itself. So in the pursuit of “life” we gain death but through the pursuit of the way of Jesus (death), we gain life our even more importantly save our lives.
The death we are called to die to is not physical, although for some that was required. No, the death required of all who follow Jesus is the death to ourselves. A death to selfishness and pride; death to being in control and running after the things of this world that do not satisfy.
The way of Jesus is a life that is full of service, generosity and humility. So the questions we must ask ourselves is, “What still needs to die in me for me to truly live?” What are you willing to sacrifice in order to experience the incredible life that God want’s to give you?
I would love to hear your thoughts… let me know what you think?