Are We Losing Our Souls?

I’m been very disturbed the last few years by the types of posts I’ve seen on social media coming from Christians. Full of lies and hatred, they divide Christians from one another and paint those who disagree as monsters.

Jesus famously said, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must 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 and because of the gospel will save it. For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:34-36).

In context Peter has just suggested that Jesus shouldn’t die, and Jesus has spoken to Peter, telling Satan to begone. Then Jesus contrasted gaining the world with losing your soul.

I’m not talking here about losing our souls in eternity, but I’m applying the principle to destroying our souls in the process of fighting perceived enemies.

Jesus’ words warn us that Christ followers can’t have it all. We can’t seek self-protection and gain in the world’s system and also live the cruciform life. We can’t follow Jesus who cares about the poor, marginalized and homeless people of this world and be more concerned about ourselves than our neighbors. When we act like those who reject Jesus to gain the world, our words and work may result in gaining temporary gain of power or protection, but they don’t reflect the God we serve.

There are probably hundreds of stories based on this theme of losing your soul. (Star Wars comes to mind.) The plot involves the question as to whether the hero will become like his enemy and lose his own heart in the process.

That’s a question we all need to ask ourselves. Have we become like those who oppose us to gain the world?

Being like Christ means not retaliating in ways that dishonor God but trusting Him enough to speak and live as Jesus did, leaving the results to our heavenly sovereign Father.

Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble. Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing. For

the one who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from uttering deceit.

And he must turn away from evil and do good;

he must seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer.

But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil (I Peter 3:8-12).

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters and a Goldendoodle.

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