"Those who love their life will lose it, those who hate their lives will save it."
This has probably been the hardest line of the gospel for me to wrap my head around. On it's surface it seems pretty straight forward- foresake the evils of the world to save yourself from sin, but I think that perhaps the way the message is worded has always given me reason to try to dig deeper with it.
Then one day it occurred to me that maybe another way to look at the reading is to read it as, "those who do not try to continuously grow in faith cannot save themselves, but those who do will find salvation despite the frustrations of numerous failures."
Looking at the reading this way, the message becomes much more encouraging. It is not only our sins that we should hate, but moreso, our complacency with them even though it is inevitable that we will have many moments of weakness in our lives. And those moments are okay as long as we recognize them as failures and try to move forward in spite of them. It's like God is saying "I'll give you an A for effort."
I have spent a lot of time pondering this verse throughout my life, and finally I feel like I have made some sense of it; or at least that's how it felt when I came to this realization. Perhaps there is more I can gain from this simple line, but at least for now I feel like the effort has been worth it.