The Bible tells us that in order to be a Christian we must give up our own life. But is this really worth it?
Christianity comes at a steep price. In 1 John 2:6 it says that “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” If you want to be a Christian the Bible tells you that you need to give up your own will and live the life that Jesus lived. Being a Christian means that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20. It’s not just a hobby. It requires your whole life.
Why give up your whole life for this?
So what could possibly be worth your whole life that you couldn’t get from somewhere else? What makes Christianity so special that you should give up your life for it? Is it really worth the cost to be a Christian?
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25. What does it mean to lose your life for His sake? And what does it mean to find it? When you lose your life, that is giving up your own will. That is when you say, “OK, Lord, I have decided that my life is yours, do with it what you will. I won’t interfere.”
And when you find it, that’s when the Lord says back to you, “Thank you, I’m going to make sure to take care of you, and I will give you immeasurable peace and joy both in this life, and in eternity.”
Blessed beyond comprehension
It’s written in Malachi 3:10, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,that there may be food in My house, ‘And try Me now in this,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’” Think about that for a second. You will be blessed so much that there will not be room to receive it!
But you’ve got to give up your life first.
“Lord, not my will, but Yours, be done.”
It’s like you are in a car and you aren’t so very good at driving but when you let God come in and instruct you, then you find out that where He’s taking you is way better than where you were going before. And maybe you sometimes try to steer in another direction because the road bends and you don’t know what’s around the corner. It can be hard to entrust everything to Him. But until you do, God won’t be able to do a work in your life. He can’t help you if you still insist on doing it your own way
But when God tells you that now you’ve got to sit down and be patient while what you really want to do is rip out our hair and scream in frustration, that’s when you can show Him that you really have given up your own will.
Giving everything up for God does not come automatically. The Bible tells you there’s going to be fighting ahead. But when God tells you that now you’ve got to sit down and be patient while what you really want to do is rip out our hair and scream in frustration, that’s when you can show Him that you really have given up your own will. That’s when you can say, “Lord, not my will, but Yours, be done.” And if you do that then He will help you overcome so you realize that even though “I don’t want to, I don’t feel like it, I have better ideas of what I should be doing, I can say that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” When you do that then God gives you the victory!
And you become more joyful than you ever were before.
What’s in it for me?
Your whole life is filled with opportunities like this. Who hasn’t sensed time and time again that their flesh rises up within them? Who hasn’t sensed that anger, that impatience, that jealousy, envy, or lust that is ingrained so deeply into our nature?
That little voice that says: “I can’t give up my life. I need that. I don’t want to live like Jesus. I want to do my own thing. Why should I do things God’s way? What’s in it for me anyway?”
What’s in it for you is that God makes you happy! You don’t know how to make yourself happy. You think you do, maybe you even think you are happy now, but living according to your own will – that is the passing pleasure of sin! It is a cold, empty happiness that passes quickly and leaves you worse off than where you were before.
A life of true happiness
Don’t seek to save your own life. Then you will lose it; you will waste it trying to be happy in a way that is just not possible to be. Lose your life willingly, give it to God. Then you will find a life of happiness. And the handful of years that you get to spend on the earth will be filled with true joy, but there’s more to it than that. God loves you so much He wants you to be happy for eternity and after you’re done living here – after you have spent your life saying ,“Yes I want to do what God wants me to do, instead of what my lusts want me to do” – then you get another life even better than the last and this one won’t end in some eighty-odd years. This one is eternal!
So when you ask “is it really worth it?” you’ve just got to realize that it’s a trade. You are trading in your old life, full of uncertainties and empty pleasures, and in return you get a completely new life; a life that is so much better that you can’t even compare the difference! Imagine clinging to a flickering, little candle because you don’t realize you have been given the sun!
Isn’t that worth it then? Isn’t it worth it to give up your old life in exchange for an eternal joy and salvation? God is waiting for you to give up your life so that He can fulfill His end of the bargain. He wants the best for you, too. You’ve just got to make your first move.