Sunday, May 6th, '18
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
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).