Lose My Soul
Main Point of Discussion: What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
The Song: “Lose My Soul” by TobyMac (featuring Kirk Franklin & Mandisa)
Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)
- This discussion will use the song as a springboard to talk about the importance of putting God and a relationship with him above everything else, the ultimate emptiness of material things and worldly pursuits, and continually placing our minds and hearts on heaven and eternity.
- It’s an older song, but still popular with teens. But since it won’t likely be played on the radio or on video channels on a regular basis, you may want to ask your kids about the song and have them play the video on You Tube (link further down).
Partial Lyrics: “Lose My Soul”
Father God, I am clay in your hands
Help me to stay that way through all life’s demands
’Cause they chip, and they nag, and they pull at me
And every little thing I make up my mind to be
Like I’m a be a daddy whose in the mix
And I’m a be a husband who stays legit
And I pray that I’m an artist who rises above
The road that is wide and filled with self love
Everything that I see draws me
Though it’s only in you that I can truly see that it’s a feast for the eyes
A low-blow to purpose
And I’m a little kid at a three-ring circus
I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
(Don’t wanna walk away, let me hear the people say)
Mr. Franklin, step up to the mic, sir
[Kirk Franklin rap]
Check it out
The paparazzi flashes, and they think think that it’s you
But they don’t know that who you are is not what you do
True, we get it twisted when we peak at the charts
Yo, before we part from the start
Where’s your heart?
You a pimp? Hustler?
Tell me what’s your title?
America has no more stars, now we call them idols
You sit idle while we teach prosperity
The first thing to prosper should be inside of me
Not because of 22s on the range
But Christ came in range, we said yes now we changed
Not the same, even though I made a fall
Since I got that call, no more Saul, now I’m Paul
Parent Note: You may want to play the “Lose My Soul” video from YouTube before you ask questions: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coHKdhAZ9hU)
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
Q: What’s the message of this song?
A: We must put God and a relationship with him above everything else, recognize the ultimate emptiness of material things and worldly pursuits, and continually place our minds and hearts on heaven and eternity.
Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
A: With conviction and examination and inspiration. We should think about the lyrics and the overall message to see if we’re measuring up in our own lives—and not just to the words, but also to the commands in Scripture that relate to the lyrics.
Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
A: In Matthew 16:24 (NIV), Jesus says to his disciples…
24…“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
And that means thinking of what Jesus wants us to do before thinking of what we want to do. That means being willing to do difficult things, to say unpopular (but true) things, and to maybe even suffer hardships.
Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.
For Deeper Discussion: (If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)
CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.
Transitional Statement: Let’s take a deeper look at the message of “Lose Your Soul,” because as Christians we have to set day-to-day priorities as we evaluate what’s helping us get closer to God…and what’s actually pushing us away from God. The goal, obviously, is to spend our time doing things that improve our relationships with God.
More Discussion Questions:
- ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: Check out the first lyric line: “Father, I am clay in your hands.” If we can bend, shape, and create anything we want from a piece of clay, what do you suppose it means that we’re the clay in God’s hands? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: that God can mold and shape us; create us; push and pull and nudge us toward the end vision God has in mind for us)
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How does TobyMac characterize what happens to him when he’s sucked in by the stuff of the earth? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: It’s like a feast for his eyes; it’s like a sucker-punch to the purpose God has for him; he’s like a little kid going nuts at a circus with all its fun action)
Read the following passage from the Bible:
- Matthew 16:21-24 (NIV)
21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
- ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: Let’s look deeper into this passage. What is happening in Jesus’ ministry journey when he asks the question in verse 26? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: Jesus has just told the disciples that he must suffer and die.)
- ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: What is the reaction to Jesus foretelling his suffering and death? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: Peter won’t hear of it; he tells Jesus that he mustn’t let it happen.)
- ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: How does Jesus respond to Peter’s assertion? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: He says “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”)
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think Jesus is calling Peter “Satan”? Or is Jesus speaking directly to Satan for using Peter to try to change his plans?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Jesus has an important reason for reacting so strongly to Peter’s emotional and uninformed comment: Besides dying for our sins, what else does Jesus hope that his death will do in the lives of his followers, according to verses 24 and 25? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”)
All people, whether they’re Christians or not, make decisions about their eternal lives. Even if that means they ignore the issue, that’s a decision! It’s unavoidable. Jesus (as stated in TobyMac’s song) pushes the issue to a powerful conclusion: What good is it if—in this life of seven or eight decades at most—we were rich, powerful, beautiful, self-serving, etc., then at death we give up not just all our worldly stuff forever…but our souls forever, too?
Doesn’t make much sense, huh? It’s like asking someone, “Do you want the million dollars…or the penny?” (And the dope takes the penny!) Of course faith plays into it—Christ asks us to give up what we can see for something that we can’t. That’s a tough trade-off for a lot of people. Especially the costs that come with it, like dying to self, taking up our cross, following, obeying, sacrificing—you get the idea.
Sometimes we need reminding about what our ultimate goal is—and about how to get there. Life sidetracks us, distracts us, and a lot of times, just shreds us to the point where we start wondering if God is real and our faith is real. But it is—we know that to be true because of what God’s already done in our lives this side of heaven. So we have to keep going, with God’s help.
Close in Prayer