Give it up!
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
People think there’s a catch to following Jesus in that we exchange our own way for his, but that’s not a catch; he’s doing us a favor! “If you try and hang on to your life, you will lose it” means we aren’t able to save ourselves or even help ourselves out in anyway no matter how organized, thoughtful or logical we are. The things we do to make our lives better or longer actually do neither. So giving up our own way in exchange for his way is actually the better way.
I have seen the Holy Spirit communicate to others or produce results when I get out of the way. I lose what I was actually aiming for when I insert my opinions and plans.
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Jesus poses this question to help us think (Matthew 6:27). And the answer, of course, is no. All our planning, routines, preferences, fads and goals do not add a single moment to our lives. The exchange isn’t a catch, there’s no bait and switch. Jesus is doing us a huge favor.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for the exchange you offer. I do not mind giving up my own way of doing things in order to belong to you. And thank you for helping me through the power of your Holy Spirit to give up my perceived entitlements and for reminding me when I don’t. Your way really is better, and I love you and thank you and pray in your name, amen.