I remember during my early teenage years my friends and I would talk about what or for whom we would die for. We all agreed that we would take a bullet for our family members (notwithstanding a few siblings), for our best friends, and for Michelle Johnson - she was gorgeous! Some of the group were willing to die for our country. I’m pretty sure one of the guys said he’d take a bullet just to be intimate with a female at least once in his life.
It is a worthwhile pursuit to consider what one would die for. An even better question, though, is, “For whom or what would one give her life?” Dying for something or someone has a one-time, immediate consequence, but giving one’s life for something or someone has lifelong, daily consequences. In marriage, each spouse is actually giving his/her life for the other; choosing everyday to not be selfish, instead choosing to do what’s best for the other. I don’t know about you other married folks, but I’m batting about .300 with that goal. Nonetheless, a happy, healthy marriage is made up of two people giving their lives for the other...everyday. Teachers give their lives to pass along information and wisdom to the next generation. Firefighters give their lives to rescue and save others.
Many things that we give our lives for are of little to no value. We give our lives to make more money so that we can have more stuff. We give our lives to surfing the internet, watching TV, and a zillion other diversions that keep us from finding what we are truly looking for.
We are meant for so much more. We are meant to give our lives for something bigger than ourselves. When we do that, we truly find real life and satisfaction.
Jesus put it this way: “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:39, NLT.) It’s seems absurd. What we really want is to find meaning, satisfaction and happiness in life. We want real life, not some superficial imitation of a true, genuine, living human being. The paradoxical truth is if we cling to our own selfish ways, only caring about ourselves, we will lose the kind of life we are so eager to have. But if we find our divine purpose, and give ourselves over to that, we will find the life our souls so fervently desire!
The kind of life we really want is not found by serving ourselves; it is found when we give our lives away for others.
If you want to think about this some more, I’d encourage you to listen again to U2’s song, Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
You can also read the amazing story of a young lady who started a school in in Uganda...when she was 19!