Is there a connection between self-preservation and mediocrity? Does the desire to save oneself impede the impact we have on those around us? Think about our cultural heroes: men and women like Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela. All of these paid a great price to serve others; all of these disregarded the preservation of self in order to serve a greater cause. But we don’t need to look towards such idyllic leaders to see the connection between sacrifice and significance. The boxer who risks his body for the fight, the artist who reveals her heart on the canvas, and the nurse who cares for those who cannot pay give exceptional service to their own detriment. Pain, exposure, and poverty are their reward… unless they are working for something greater than themselves.
Save yourself and limit the impact you have on others.
Jesus taught that, “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” He draws a direct connection between self-preservation and the loss of life. Our efforts to keep safe, comfortable, and alive result in a spiritual death. However, our willingness to spend our life towards the cause of Christ takes purchase of eternity.
Are you working to save yourself or spend yourself? Is your desire for self-preservation keeping you from doing something significant? Consider these things as you go about your work. And consider the amount of energy you spend helping others and saving yourself.