Be Intentional with Loss
This weeks word is from our Youth Website
Whenever we are desiring to gain at anything, we must be intentional at loss. Consider some of the avenues of life where people attempt to gain. When we attempt to gain financially, we have to lose bad spending habits, and lose time to developing our trade. When wanting to gain more knowledge of a person, we lose time with other people to know them more intimately. If we want to gain more knowledge of Jesus, we must be intentional at losing more of ourselves.
Matthew 16:24-25 Jesus said to His disciples; “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” So, how do we become intentional at loss so we may gain? Here are four practical ways to be intentional with gain, through intentional loss:
Steps for Gain
1. The battle begins in the mind. Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you, do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God is giving you. Some outer sources that affect the way you think: substance abuse, music, visual stimulation, social media, just to name a few. Two inner sources that can impact the way you think: A) Chronic stress is one top way to prematurely age your brain. B) Prayer is the most powerful inner source that impacts how you think. It rewires your thought process and keeps you focused on an external source that can impact the internal compass that directs your steps. Jude 1:20 directs us to…build yourselves up in the most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
2. When we make it too hard on ourselves, discouragement is an inevitable obstacle. Being determined makes us disciplined, when trying to achieve or accomplish anything, when we are challenged or are met by obstacles. We can see how flawed we are by seeing how weak and discouraged we can become. Therefore, because we view ourselves as being flawed we want to “perfect” an image we see as being flawless. The beginning of any successful pursuit, (in this instance, how losing more of ourselves gains more of Jesus) stubborn determination can become obnoxious to some, but it’s necessary in order to be teachable in discipline. Rather than placing too much weight and hardship on ourselves, it begins simply by taking the instruction in Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
3. Intentional loss takes time and effort. If you identify a desire to know someone intimately, or to know how to play an instrument masterfully, what would you be willing to lose in order to gain that knowledge? When a husband is in pursuit of a bride, in order to be counted as faithful, to experience the fullness of what that love has to offer, and to truly understand the blessings that come, he must rid himself of all other romantic pursuits. Philippians 3:7-9 “but whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…”
4. Finding and maintaining motivation to begin and complete the task. One site tells us some reasons we are kept from being motivated. From procrastination (delaying), to being around friends that care less about being successful, there are many things that can interfere with us being able to complete the task. One simple way to gauge this: are you a person who is distracted, or are you one that can be interrupted? Do you view God as a distraction, or can the Holy Spirit interrupt your routine? Centering on Jesus and the voice of the Holy Spirit in your routine encourages intentionality. When we are distracted we lose focus, then motivation to complete a task becomes secondary, as we begin to see the task as the distraction.
Read Hebrews 12:1-3, and take the encouragement of fixing your eyes on Jesus as motivation to begin, stay focused, and complete the assignment given to you.
~ For more from our Vibrant Youth Ministry visit their website ~