Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
This passage was made much more helpful to me after I figured out what Jesus meant when He said the words “love” and hate.
In this context, to “love your own life” means to treasure it, to cherish it, to value it above all other things. Many people, many Christians even, share this sort of love for themselves. I do in various ways. But Jesus says that this sort of self-centered pride is sure to leave you with no life at all. This attitude means that Christ is not supremely valuable to you. You have not tasted and seen that God is good. You have not considered all things as rubbish when compared to knowing Christ. In short, you love your life more than Jesus’ life.
But if you hate your life now, you will gain eternal life forever.
So what does it mean to hate your life?
Well, it does not mean low self esteem.
Jesus isn’t calling us to a life of self-loathing. He is calling us to renounce everything for the sake of His glory. To hate our lives in this way, means that someone else is on the throne. And hating our lives, throwing them away like this, is a sure fire way to eternal life. We are called to drop everything and follow jesus, hating our lives and loving Him.
We cannot love Jesus and our lives. Which one would you pick?