MEANS: obtain or secure (something desired, favorable, or profitable), reach or arrive at (a desired destination), come closer to (a person or thing pursued), increase the amount, rate, value
FROM: Late 15th century (as a noun, originally in the sense of ‘booty’)
BIBLE VERSE: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:26, see also Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25
THOUGHTS: In the Message translation, this citation, starting in verse 24 says, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get (gain) everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
The word is derived from a word indicating 'booty'-something a pirate might acquire-like treasure. To rephrase the Message translation, just a bit more. "What sort of deal is it to get all the BOOTY (treasure) you want ...but lose yourself? What sort of booty could you ever trade your soul for?"
Following Jesus is counter to the ideas we get from the world around us, isn’t it? We are told that to ‘succeed’ we need to be first and on top. We have to strive to have the 'most marbles', the biggest pile of booty! This can result in the loss of our identity. Sometimes we end up living up to everyone’s expectations except God’s. God’s way is simple-follow Jesus. It seems like we would lose our self when we embrace suffering and self-sacrifice with Jesus. Then we find that the truth is that real living is in offering our life to God.
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to remember that it is not the way of the world that I should follow, but your way of self-giving. No matter how much booty I have, if I have forgotten to let you hold my soul, it isn't worth anything.
MEANS: grasp, carry, or support with one's arms or hands, keep or detain (someone), an act or manner of grasping something; a grip.
o FROM: Old English haldan, healdan, of Germanic origin (halten); the noun is partly from Old Norse hald (hold, support, custody)
BIBLE VERSE: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
THOUGHTS: In this citation from the Letter to the Philippians, Paul notes that he hasn’t arrived, but continues to try to ‘get a grip’ on the righteousness found in knowing Christ. Just a few verses earlier Paul states, “whatever gain I had [as a Jewish man] I count as loss for the…surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…and through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God.” (Philippians 3:7-11) For Paul, and for us, we are called to work for the ‘upward call of God’. The Booty we are to work to get is a right relationship with God! Quite different from a pile of earthly treasure, isn't it?
(I hadn't expected these 2 words to work together like they did-isn't the Holy Spirit surprising, sometimes!)
PRAYER: Living God, you ask me to let go of self in order to take hold of you. Help me to release my grip on things that are not of you, so that the treasure I do gain and hold onto is the right relationship with you.
What might you have to give up to ‘gain your soul’? You might journal about these in your scrapbook.
How do you ‘take hold’ of the call of God? Are there things that hold you back? You may want to draw some of these things or find images to glue in to the scrapbook.
Maybe you want to answer the question from the Message translation: “What kind of deal is it to get everything (all the booty) you want but lose yourself?”