Losing my Life…

Jun 20, 2012

For whosoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.~ Mark 8:35

Quick Sip
For years I thought this verse and the ones surrounding it simply talked about life and death. I never really understood, and still don’t, when Jesus says “take up your cross and follow me” in the preceding verse, and I assumed Mark 8:35 didn’t really refer to me, since it’s unlikely I’ll ever have to die for the gospel.
But while reading these verses again today, a light bulb clicked on. Yes, they refer to life and death, but they also refer to a daily “dying to self.” But what in the heck does that mean?! I think it is connected to the same idea Paul writes about in Philippians 2:4 when he says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Losing my life daily for the sake of the gospel means putting aside my desires, goals, and interests and following those God has placed before me. This is hard.
If I was to keep my life I would put my children in day care and go back to school. I would pursue my PhD in Rhetoric and Linguistics. I would become well versed in those theories, write papers on them, teach classes, and attend conferences. I would explore multicultural rhetoric and try to help minority groups learn how to follow the rules of rhetoric while also breaking them and remaining true to themselves and their parent culture, much like Gloria Anzaldua. Did you hear that? I, I, I, I…there’s a lot of self in those dreams.
Dying to myself looks like staying home with my kids and adjunct teaching. Pursuing God and writing while my babies nap and encouraging others to do the same. It means putting my dreams of a PhD on hold for now while my children are at home and possibly forever.
Dying to myself was and is hard. However, each day it is becoming easier. I’m learning when God says he gives back a hundred fold what you lay down for the sake of the gospel, He keeps those promises (Matt.19:29). Could I help people by teaching them how to communicate effectively in Western culture while not being brain washed. Yes! Without a doubt.
But just as that once was my passion, God has replaced it with an eternal passion. Now, my children’s smiles, sloppy kisses, and hugs mean so much more than any accolades I may have received. Now, those of you who read this blog, means so much more to me than any potential students I could have reached.
If I would have “looked to my own interests” and continued to pursue my pre-kid goals, I would have saved my life, but ultimately lost it. However, now that I’m learning to choose what God has placed before me, my family and writing, I’m finding my life. Not only the one I will have in heaven one day, but a fuller life right now, here, on earth.
Full Cup
Further study on these thoughts…
Mark 10:17-31

Matt. 10:34-39

Mark 8:31-38

After reading these verses, are there interests of yours that your refusing to give to God? What would it look like if you were to lay those interests down and lose your life for the sake of the gospel?

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