“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” ~ Mk 8:36
Today, I am talking about the Gospel of Mark chapter eight verse 34 through chapter nine, verse one.
In the video, I read it but in this text, I’ll skip to the places in the reading I reflect on.
The first stop is verse 34, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”
I used to think “deny himself” meant to deny all pleasure in life and push all the fun away so that I could take up my cross and tackle the challenges Jesus wanted me to take on. I interpreted it as the need for huge sacrifices.
I don’t think that’s the intent of the reading, anymore.
The next stop is verses 35 and 36, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
Similarly to verse 34, I was used to hearing these verses related money, success, and what is the point of it. I was holding on to the idea that an honest Christian shouldn’t have a lot of money or success.
I no longer think that’s what it means. My past mindset is probably why I have issues with money and I had to change my relationship with it.
In conjunction, these verses are used to paint a picture that the road to follow Christ, the road to do God’s will, implies a lot of pain and sacrifices to be a humble servant of the Lord.
Nowadays, I think these verses speak about the attachment to those things. It’s considering those things are much more important than the higher purpose to use our gifts to create something worth sharing with other people.
It’s more spiritual than physical.
To this day, I still will find myself saying leadership is a sacrifice and following God is a sacrifice. I take all my burdens and make them my cross to pick up and walk with it because pain is a requirement of the experience.
It can be taken that way, but I think it’s more about the spiritual context.
Am I really thinking these things of the human world are more important than spiritual fulfillment?
Are they more important than following my passions, desires, and this purpose that’s brewing inside of me which comes from God’s will?
By “God’s will” I’m thinking of this faith that there is some plan that God has for me, there is a life that I am supposed to live, and that life is the best life that I could ever have.
If I’m willing to let go of the attachments to what society says is a success, to what other people say is the happy life, and I’m able to stay the course of following the Holy Spirit, I will find and create this life that is so much better than everything else.
This is part struggles and battles I have with myself.
Let me know what you think of it and how you think about it.