Did you ever try to save yourself? Well, that’s not as strange as it sounds. In fact, we are more prone to do that than anything else in life.
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus encourages us to deny ourselves. Then in verse 25, He explains why. He says, “For…whoever will try to save his life, shall lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.” Now, isn’t that a paradox! You lose by trying to win; and you win by deliberately losing. Well, Jesus isn’t speaking in riddles. He is sharing one of the most fundamental principles of life. “Whoever will try to save his life, shall lose it…”
Saving your life simply means trying to protect your own interests – putting a hedge around yourself so nobody can get what is yours.
Years ago I was ministering at a boys’ camp and I came across a boy sitting by himself, and he was crying. So I asked him what was wrong. “Nobody likes me,” he said. “I don’t have any friends.” Well, I had been watching him for several days. He would jump in line to get ahead of others, and he always reached for the biggest piece first. Actually, he was protecting his own interests – he was trying to save himself. But in the process, he was losing. No one wanted to be his friend.
Now that’s why Jesus said we need to deny ourselves. We need to quit trying to protect our own interests and put Him first (as well as putting others first). The reason? “For whoever will try to save his life, will lose it.”
So – are you jumping in line and reaching for the biggest piece? Well, you may think you’re saving yourself, but you are really becoming a loser.