“It’s all about you Jesus …” It is easy to sing the song, but how real is this for us? Jesus presents the issue in terms of a choice between loving him and loving ourselves.
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25NIV)
The focus of this self love shifts as we develop. Early on, Jesus exposes actions. Maybe he points to our disrespecting others. We love our lives when we take because we can. It looks like we hate our lives when we don’t take what we could, yet this is out of love for Jesus.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me. John 12:24-26
Later we might realise that we are living this ‘Christian life’ for our own ends. Love for ourselves pops up as we seek our own ends in a Christian way. Hating our own life comes with the surrender of our aims. We ask the question who am I serving really?
Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24NIV)
Growth requires we face the death God sets before us. Jesus promises a fruitful outcome. Can we trust him for it? It may come from unexpected directions and take unexpected forms!