I am not what I do. I am not where I'm from. I am not what I've done. . .
Jesus said, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."
Have you ever really thought about what it means to lose your life for Jesus? I had someone tell me once that Christianity seemed pretty boring to them because they thought that Jesus wanted everyone to act, talk, walk, and dress alike. Is that really what it means to lose your life for Jesus? Does it mean that we somehow give up all of our personality traits, all of our likes/dislikes, and everything that makes us who we are? Does it mean that we are all clones of the "ideal" Christian?
I don't think that's what it means at all. Instead I think that losing our life for Christ means that our identity is now found in Jesus and not in other things.
I mean think about it. It is easy to wrap our identity up in what we've done, where we're from, or what we do. It is easy to link our identity to our job, to our country, to our race, to our accomplishments, to our family, to our bank account. It's even easier sometimes to link our identity to our failures.
Many pastors do this. Admittedly, I do it sometimes, too. I think we all do. There are times when I start to think that my worth is found in how many people come to church on a given Sunday. Or I think my worth is found in the number of people I baptize. Or I think my worth is found in comparing myself to the pastor down the street. For you, maybe it's something different. Maybe you find your worth in your bank account. Maybe you find your worth in your job. Maybe you find your worth in the number of Facebook friends you have.
But what if all of those things were taken away from you. What if you woke up tomorrow and your bank account was empty because of an outstanding debt you didn't know about? What if show up to work only to find a pink slip on your desk? What if no one likes your Facebook post (tell the truth - that can hurt)? For me, I often ask questions like what if our church burns to the ground? Or even worse, what if church attendance begins to slowly decline? What if no one responds to my messages anymore? What do we do in these situations? What do we do when the things that identify us the most are taken away?
Do we feel like life can't go on? Do we feel like we've lost our identity? Or is our identity found in Christ? Let's face it - as Christians, we are not what we do. We are not our job. We are not our accomplishments. We aren't our number of friends. We aren't even who we used to be. We aren't our failures. We aren't our mistakes. No, we are none of those things anymore. Instead, we are God's. Instead, our identity is found in Him. And as such, we can only truly be saved when we are lost. We can only truly be found when we lose our lives for Christ and find ourselves in Him.
Colossians 3:3: For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.