"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." - Apostle Paul
Why are Paul's words such a radical statement? First of all, living for someone other than yourself is pretty much unheard of in this culture. Second, dying is something that we've been taught to dread.
Have you ever thought about why you value life so much? (And if you're living right now, there's a good chance that you value life.) One of my friends recently challenged me with that question. It really got me thinking: Why do I value life? What makes it so precious to me? Worldly pleasures? Human approval? Social status? Amusement? Or maybe I value life because I have a fear of the "unknown"?
far better"! Paul could sincerely say that because he didn't value his own life. He valued Christ. To live meant to live for Christ, to die meant to meet Him.
So let me ask you: What do you value? Be honest, for the answer will pretty much determine what you're living for. Personally, I have been asking God to show me the things that I value too dearly in this life, and I would challenge you to do the same. If everything you treasure is of this world, then dying can't be gain and living can't be Christ.
When life is lived for pleasure, comfort, and self, that life is a tragic one. Don't miss out on the privilege of living for Christ and magnifying Him. In the end, dying will be gain, not tragedy.