Losing to Save

Mark 8:31-38

"He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, 'If any want to  become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake f the gospel will save it." 

What happens when we sacrifice for something like for a particular cause or for a particular person? It seems like the key ingredient to the idea of sacrifice is prioritization. If we sacrifice eating desert in order to keep our blood sugar down or to lose some weight, we are prioritizing our health above our desire for sweet things. Decisions about sacrifice are decisions about what we value the most. 

I think that's what is going on in the gospels with all of the talk about saving, losing, and sacrifice. Jesus is preaching a re-prioritization of our values and our actions. While some would value their physical well-being above all, he is pointing out that it seems like we only truly appreciate our lives when we are willing to give up aspects of our own personal comfort for the sake of others. When we desperately cling to our own physical well-being, we miss out on the joy that comes from true friendship and commitments of caring relationships. 

As we continue our journey through Lent, what are our highest priorities in life? Are we missing out on some of the joys in life due to valuing the wrong things?