Jim Elliott said that quote. Two other similar meaning quotes are: “you’ll keep what you release, and you’ll lose what you try to hang onto,” and “what you compromise to keep you will probably lose.”
What do they mean? Whatever it is (money, titles, riches, material things) you hold on to or compromise yourself to keep, more times than not, you will eventually lose. History is full of people from the bible times to current day, who did just that. They would not yield or let go, rather they held on with a tight fist and what they tried to keep, they ended up losing. Take a child who is always told they cannot go there or do that. They will one day go there and do that and all you can do is watch from the sidelines.
I have a deceased family member that was one of the most conservative and unflinching tight money managers who seldom gave anything away and would barely even leave a tip at a restaurant. When he passed away, he did not even have the love of his family. Business history is loaded with examples of people who thought they had cornered a financial market only to find out someone just build a new street.
The point: be careful what you hang onto and possibly compromise yourself to keep, because those are the very things that you will mostly lose in the future. Do not ever think you are a self-made man/woman, because you are not. You are here today solely by the grace of God. Catch yourself before you say things like, “I did that” or “I did it on my own” or “I don’t need any anyone’s help.” There is a bible verse in Matthew 5, “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” People think of meek as a shy person who is afraid of their own shadow. Not true. It really means a bold, yet humble person who chooses (that is right, chooses) not to think of themselves more highly than they should.
A person who has done great things, yet remains humble, is probably the most approachable and engaging person you could meet. Choose a life path where there is no boasting and you are always mindful of the gift God gave you, just to be here. KT