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Jump-Start Your Day

Sunday, May 6th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

LETTING GO

"...anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever..." (John 12:25 The Message)

 

I've enjoyed reading through Eugene Peterson's Bible paraphrase, The Message. Be advised that it is a paraphrase and not a critical Bible translation, but he does have a great knack for words that gives a unique slant on things as in the verse quoted. Jesus said, "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (NKJV). Peterson adapts to the adage that if you let something you love go and it returns then it was meant to be, but if it doesn't return then it never was to be. That's not quite what Jesus meant but it is included. David Curello says that when seed leaves your hand it doesn't leave your life. It matures and develops other seed. Form changes but the original is still present in the final. Parents have to let go of their teenagers. But what leaves their hand never leaves their heart. The kids will come back at last with kids of their own and lots of Christmas packages. Letting go feels like loss but it is the only means of gain.

 

"There is one who scatters yet increases, and there is one that withholds more than is mete, and it tends to poverty" (Proverbs 11:24). Pity the person whose attic is crammed with dusty antiquities that could be a blessing if given away to someone else who could put them to use. The woman with the handful of meal could have held on to her handful for dear life but it wouldn't have lasted long. The moment she "let it go" God multiplied it and gave her miracle-meal to last a whole year. If the lad in the Gospels would have selfishly held on to his five loaves and two fishes he would have went home with precisely that, five loaves and two fishes. Instead his gift fed 5,000 and he led the procession of apostles' home to his house, each toting a big basketful of the fragments. When we lose our life, we find our life. When Jesus forfeited His life on the cross He found His life in the resurrection. You have to give in order to get.

 

Notice Peterson says, "If anyone holds on to life just as it is" destroys that life. There must be flexibility and a willingness to change. Companies that hold on to a product line "just as it is" will die a slow death while their competitors find novel approaches to meet consumer needs. Neither of us has arrived. There is still growing to do and that requires staying fit and flexible. As to tradition, prejudices, small thinking and keeping tight boundary lines, "let it go". The verse further says to do so "reckless in your love". Throw your whole weight on Christ. Don't live calculating every move, running every decision through your CPA first. The ocean can't buoy you up until you dive into it. The problem is that we wade when we should dive overboard. Jonah threw himself overboard and was swallowed by the whale. His life was saved when his life was lost. Can you understand that? Paul said the same in so many words, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live..." (Galatians 2:20) He was dead yet living, another strange Bible paradox. If you want to let it grow, let it go. Then God can bless it, polish it, anoint it and send it back better than it left. "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days" (Ecclesiastes 11:1).


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