Now that’s really living! What were you doing the last time someone said that? Eating? Playing with grand-kids? Water skiing? Not everything we do in life is “really living,” right? There are some moments in life when we feel more “alive.” Life is full and rich, satisfying or meaningful. So, not all life is “real life.” If you understand how the same word, life, can be used to mean simply having a heart beat but can also mean the best vacation you ever had, then you can better understand Jesus, when He says:
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
Jesus used the same word to mean two things:
1) All the things we hang on to in this world, believing we need them to be happy and secure.
2) The rich and full life that God intended for us to have as humans, being connected intimately and eternally with Him.
You can’t grab onto #1 and also have #2. Holding on to #1 is a “death-grip.” #2 is “real life.” That is why, in the previous post, I used the video of a baby robin, screwing up his courage to fly for the first time (See: The Life You’d Die to Have). As long as he clung to the safety and comfort of his nest, the only “life” he’d ever experienced, he could not experience the “real life” he was designed to possess – flying.
Similarly, Jesus continued:
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26a)
The word, soul, in that question is the same word Jesus used for “life” previously. He used the same word in this teaching, too:
” “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more
important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25 – I’ve crossed out the word, important, since it is not in the original text.)
Real life is more than food and clothes. The “real life” God intended for us was eternal life, the life of His Spirit within us. So long as we maintain our “death-grip” on life as we have always known it, our “nest” of stuff that makes us feel comfortable and safe, we will never “find” the “real life” God intended, flying with His Spirit. When we let go of life and trust Jesus, He gives us “real life.”