Losing Your Life

on Sunday 6, February 2011

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”  (Matthew 16:24-25)  The very popular thinker/author C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, challenges us that as disciples of Christ we must give all – die – in order to fully follow the Lord. 

He likens our attempts to ‘add’ Christianity to our natural lives as painting a surface, instead of being dipped in a saturating dye, or mowing the grass in an attempt to keep it under control, instead of tearing it up and replanting.  “We keep hoping that when all the demands (of our Christian faith) have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes.  In fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes.  He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on.”

This kind of life of self-improvement or self-transformation can make us exceedingly unhappy because it is impossible.  We can perhaps add a virtue or two to our basically self-indulgent personality.  But without the transforming power and grace of the Holy Spirit, our attempts at being a good person or qualifying as a disciple of Christ are pretty much futile.  This is why Jesus said, “Lose your life…let it be totally absorbed into me. Let my life become your life.  Let my powerful life be lived through you.  Then you will know supernatural peace and the joy of truly being my disciple.