When I read this verse, I can’t help but think that Paul’s physical rock bottom led to his radical proclamation of defiance towards earthly values. He’s writing from a jail cell; he has nothing left for God to take. He has no money, no comfort, no children. For Paul, to die truly is to gain. Quite contrastingly, we have jobs, passions, comfort, families, friends, and much more that benefit us in life. Death is considered a loss as it robs us of these pleasures in life.
While Paul a much looser grip on life, his example can be mimicked today. While we may have more to hold on to in life, this only means we have more to surrender. There is great contrast in living in a dark jail cell and living in a warm home with wifi, but Paul’s attitude can exist and thrive in each scenario. Paul surrenders the little he has left, and we can surrender whatever possessions we may have, however plentiful or meager. There’s nothing wrong with placing value on things we love, as long we don’t hold a tight grip on them. The freedom lies in releasing a clenched fist and entrusting our possessions to God. Then, we can truly say that to die is gain.
Think About It How easily can you let go of what you value? Do you have a heavenly mindset to keep you grounded? What to you hold on to too tightly?
Talk About It
God, I give my concerns, comforts, and possessions to you, because they are not mine to begin with. Let them not interfere with my desire to serve you.
More of the Truth Matthew 5:12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.