How do you make a living? I’m not talking about your job. Yes, we have to have jobs to support ourselves but isn’t living something more substantial than the way we make our money?
According to Jesus in Matthew 16:25, Christians make their living by losing:
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Now does Jesus mean we have to give up everything as he did when he died on the cross to pay for our sins? No, we still need to keep things we need to live.
One of the best ways I heard of to explain how we are to give up the things of this life is in a story about a boy who loved butterflies. He asked his dad if he would help him catch a butterfly so he could look at it.
So they went out into a field where there a lot of butterflies but, of course, butterflies are hard to catch. The boy tried several times to catch one but each time he got close the butterfly flew away. The boy was getting frustrated but finally got close enough to catch a butterfly. He was so determined to hang on the the butterfly that he ended up crushing it.
The father explained that butterflies are very delicate and he had to hold them very carefully. So the next time the boy caught a butterfly he held it very carefully in his hands. He looked it over and it was just as beautiful as he thought it would be.
After a few minutes the father said, “Okay, it’s time to let it go.” The boy was shocked and said, “No, I want to take it home and feed it and take care of it.” His father replied, “Sorry, we can’t take it home. Butterflies belong in the field, not in a house.” So the boy let it go and they returned home.
What Jesus means when he says we make our living by losing is that we are not too hold on to the things of this life so tightly that we lose the things of eternal life.
And, just as the boy had to let go of the butterfly, some day we will all have to let go of this life when we enter eternal life through Jesus’ resurrection power. Butterflies emerge from their cocoons with glorious new bodies. So we will emerge from our graves with glorious new bodies never again subject to death.
That’s how Christians make a living by losing.