Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

It’s Counterintuitive

Joni Eareckson Tada

Then he (Jesus) said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Luke 9:23-24

Counterintuitive means something is counter to what intuition would lead one to expect. In other words, your logic and best judgment lead you in one direction, but reality is the complete opposite. For instance, to prevent the flu virus, doctors take a form of that virus and stick it into your arm. It shouldn’t work, but it does. That’s counterintuitive.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Really? I’m going to somehow find my life by giving it up? Yes, exactly. When you lose your life for Christ’s sake, you think of others before yourself; you give generously even when you don’t have much; and you make Jesus famous even when it diminishes your reputation and makes you look bad. When you live this way—for Christ’s sake—you will begin to discover life beyond what you have ever experienced.

Lord, it so often seems like the way to save my life is to cling to it—by hanging on with my fingernails and toenails. It seems like the way to preserve my life is to protect myself, shield myself, and put my own needs first. That’s the way it seems, but that’s not reality.