by Rhonda Rhea
Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it. Matthew 10:39 CSB
I’m always so sincere when I say I’m only going to eat one of your fries. Like, I really do believe it. I think I believe it right up until I grab that next fry.
Most of the time, I don’t blame myself. Is it okay if I blame the fries? French fries are almost obnoxiously good. Cupcakes? Same thing. So it’s not my fault.
Saying no to fries and cupcakes is not my best thing. But yesterday I stepped on the scale and the scale hurt my feelings really badly. So I’m pondering the need to get better at it. At least a little more balanced. Or perhaps I should just cut off any dealings with the scales. Those mean, mean scales.
It’s probably not helping that my favorite diet routine is the one where I pin a couple of salads on Pinterest and then eat half a chocolate ice cream pie.
I don’t blame the chocolate ice cream pie either. I can’t think of any time it’s ever been anything but sweet.
As followers of Christ, we have the sweet life available to us. Sweet, sweeter, sweetest. Real life. We can grab it all. Life abundant, full, and satisfying. Ironically, we get in on that life as we willingly give up…everything. It’s the strangest balance. Or is it the absence of balance? I’m not sure. Because in giving up that…everything, we gain more than everything. We gain joy, purpose, hope, direction, peace, satisfaction, and love. More! There’s freedom. Freedom from emptiness, guilt, unrest, and discontentment.
As He was commissioning His disciples to proclaim the message of this abundant life, Jesus said to them, “Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it” (Matthew 10:39 CSB).
Six chapters later, Jesus told His disciples again, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25 CSB).
Want to find life? Lose it. Want to have it? Give it away.
Real life is not found in possessions or fame or feelings or the most obnoxiously good earthly treat you can think of. We find spiritual life that transcends all that as we give all to Christ.
Give Him everything—when circumstances are great and you’re on top of the world, and give Him everything when it’s a mess and life is hard.
Those messy circumstances will not be able to touch the joy and satisfaction you’ll find in that place of surrender. And frankly, the glory you might experience when you’re on top of the world is not glory at all—not without The Glorious One.
So give it. All. You can do it as He empowers it. Sometimes surrender is about saying no to self. I don’t just mean the fries. I’m talking about saying no to anything in this life I might be tempted to hold onto tighter than I hold onto Jesus. Belongings, esteem, relationships, habits—He gives grace to let go of those things that hold us back and that keep us from experiencing the sweet, abundant life He has for each of us.
By the way, I’m still working on balancing the sweets on the physical side. Well, sort of working on it. I recently set a goal to lose 10 pounds in 60 days, and guess what! I only have 12 more pounds to go.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and an award-winning humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and many more. She is the author of 17 books, including the Fix-Her-Upper books, co-authored with Beth Duewel, and the hilarious novels, Turtles in the Road and Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated, both co-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea.
Rhonda and Kaley have a new novel, Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated. When the Heartcast Channel Movie division announces they’ll briefly be allowing submissions for new Christmas movies, Harlow finds herself paired with a reluctant co-star. Jack Bentley may be the biggest Heartcast Original Movie name in the business, but he is anything but formulaic.
Join the conversation: What does the word surrender mean to you?