It is natural for a man to want to save his life. And it is no sin to try to do so. But it is a sin to try to save your life in the wrong way. Not only is it a sin to go about trying to save your life in the wrong way, but you will also find out in the end that your attempt has been unsuccessful. Trying to save your life, you will end up having lost it. When Jesus was headed toward the cross, He told his disciples, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 9:35).
We must renounce any and all attempts to preserve our lives apart from the cross. Your life will not be saved by scheduling more “me time” into your calendar. You will not preserve yourself by an abundance of riches, or hedging all of your bets, or following what the world would call reasonable plans. Far from it.
Life is found through Calvary. Strength is found through weakness. Glory through humility. The preservation of your life is found through dying, and only through dying.
So lay your life down for Christ and His gospel. Do not avoid your responsibilities. Do not pass the buck to the next guy in line. Train your children. Show hospitality to the saints. Forgive one another. Confess your sin to one another. Love your wives. Respect your husbands. Honor your parents. Pray for those who persecute you. Work with your hands so that you have something to give to the poor. And if it seems that the performance of any more good works like these may just leave you knocking at death’s door, then praise the Lord. Because that is where your life is found.