“Giving It Up To Truly Follow”
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.”
I’ll be perfectly honest with you all in that I like to do things my own way. I also like to hang on to things that I think are important. Pretty much any day, I want to do things the way I think they should be done and go my own way. I also want to hang on to things that I think are important and have a hard time letting go of what so often shouldn’t be important to me at all.
This passage has been heavy on my heart the past week or so and I just wanted to share the real struggle this has been for me as I take inventory of my life and how I want to grow closer to Christ in giving up my ways and my life.
We so often want the better life and the better ways that Christ offers us, but we do NOT want to and are so often NOT willing to give up our own ways to do so. It’s like we think we can do our own thing and have the better life Christ offers us to have the best of both worlds. It does not work that way and we are well aware of that! However, we continue to convince ourselves that we can do what we want and when we want.
Two things I find fascinating when Jesus talks about the cost of following Him. First, He makes it very clear the cost of following Him and how hard it will be. Second, I’ve often found myself thinking that He almost tries to talk people out of following Him in a sense because He wants people to really consider the huge cost. He wants us to follow Him and desires that above all, but He absolutely wants us to count the cost of what it really means to give up our own way and our own life in order to do so.
Friends, do we REALLY count the cost??? I don’t think we often do. We say we do and we say we understand what it means to follow Him, but I don’t think we totally understand the depth and magnitude of what this truly means. I know I don’t. It is very difficult to daily give up our own way. As much as we are all so accustomed to a self-centered life and culture, it is so challenging to surrender every day and give control over to Jesus.
My prayer is that we all make a true and honest effort to daily commit to giving up our own ways and our life so that Christ can really be in control and lead us.