Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24
This sounds like so much double-talk; if you want it, give it up. If you keep it, it’ll be gone. It reminds me of a behavioral study I saw with a bird, a falcon, I think.
The bird was in a cage. Out of reach, beyond the bars was a piece of meat. Attached to the meat was a string that lay part way inside the cage. The scientists marveled that the bird understood the counterintuitive concept that it could bring the food closer and within reach by moving away from it while holding the string.
Back away from it, and you get it.
Whether it’s the experiment with the bird or Jesus’ wisdom from Luke 9, we have the same sort of concept. We might not understand the underlying principle that makes it so, but Jesus provided the practical example for us to see, the proof that it works.
I must admit that I don’t understand it, but I see it working in the Bible with Jesus, and I’ve experienced it working in my life.
Namely, I put others, especially God, ahead of me and watch how well things end up in the long run.