The Irony of Finding Oneself

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various, Viewpoint

 

Photo on Flickr.com
 
 
 
I have been working on my message for the Sunday Celebration sermon series called, “The Price.” This Sunday I will be covering “The Price of Freedom” by preaching on Romans 6. It has been an interesting study for me because it reminded me of a principle that has been proven true over the years, not only in my life but also in the lives of people that I have counseled over the years.

So often in the midst of trying to find ourselves, we forget that it is only by losing ourselves that we will truly find ourselves. Jesus said in Luke 9:23-25, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”

In our search for our identity, we frequently base it on the things of this world – our grades, career, family, reputation, friends, and the like – rather than on the Gospel and our relationship with Christ. This is why sometimes we feel as if following Christ is restrictive and more of a burden, than finding true joy and freedom.

The story of the “prodigal son” (Lk 15:11-24) describes our plight so well.

When the younger son was at home with his father, he felt restricted in his freedom and confined to his father’s rules. This is why he made the audacious request of his share of his inheritance and decided to leave home in order to find himself and enjoy his freedom.

But the irony of the story (which by the way is often times our story) is seen when we notice what happened when he started to experience his freedom. Instead of finding himself, he lost himself further into sin. In his freedom, it turned out that he was really enslaved in the grip of sin. It was only when the prodigal son repented of his rebellion that he realized true freedom was found in his father’s house.

He then made the long journey home.

We are only able to find ourselves when we are willing to lose ourselves to Christ. Conversely, when we lose ourselves to the things of this world, then we will never find ourselves.

True freedom is found when we are in obedience to the One who laid down His life for us. This is the process of losing ourselves in order to find ourselves.