What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (verse 25).
What good indeed. I find myself reflecting on this passage often. One of the downsides about my job is the ever present risk of “getting it wrong” or “making a mistake”. Now these days that can mean jail time and instant dismissal never to practice again. These days it’s a risky time to be a doctor.
I’m not alone in this I suspect - pilots, train drivers, all those who manage uncertainty in an unpredictable world and who live under the shadow of “judgement in retrospect” (a much easier thing to do) are at the mercy of a society that must “blame” and “hold to account”.
So what can you do...
You can only be what you can be, the best you can be, with as good a heart as you can muster and trust God to do the rest. I think if I focus on the mission - to serve Christ as I best I can with all I have then I’m doing the right thing and what follows is in the plan, what follows is a gift even when it may not seem like it at the time.
This is a prayer for those who face judgment on every decision they make:
There is only you.
The universe flows through the cross.
There was before and there is after and there is that fixed point in the universe.
Help me to keep my focus on that, that cross, that tragedy and that triumph
You faced death and found it wanting
How can I be any less
With you beside me I can live life truly and freely
With you to guide me I can walk with confidence
There is no good to be found in the music of the whole world unless I sing in harmony with you.
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’
19 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.’
20 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Peter answered, ‘God’s Messiah.’
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’
23 Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?