Saturday, February 17, 2024

Life is good, how can I hate it as Jesus commands us (John 12:25)

How are we to understand Christ when He says,  “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” John 12:25 ? 

This verse is a call to love God more than the world and its pleasures, more than this good life you may now enjoy. It’s not about rejecting the joys and goodness of life, but about not becoming so attached to them that they lead us away from God. It's a reminder that our ultimate goal is union with God, Theosis, and eternal life; everything else is secondary.

To 'hate' one's life in this context means to be willing to let go of anything that hinders our spiritual journey, even if it's something good or enjoyable. It’s about recognizing that while our earthly life can be good, our spiritual life and relationship with God are of greater importance.

You don't have to give up enjoying your life. Rather, it's about holding these joys lightly and being prepared to sacrifice your personal desires when they conflict with your spiritual growth or journey towards God. This teaching encourages us to look beyond the temporary pleasures and focus on the eternal joy and peace that comes from a life centered around Christ.

You should enjoy the blessings in your life. But ensure that these blessings do not become the center of your life, replacing God. In Orthodox Christianity, there's a deep understanding that true joy and fulfillment come from a life lived in communion with God. The pleasures of this world, while not inherently bad, are transient and cannot compare to the eternal joy found in God.

We should cherish the good in our life, give thanks for it, but always keep our heart and soul directed towards God, remembering that our ultimate fulfillment and purpose lie in Him."

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