"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"
Today our answers could be numerous...
- pleasure (sexual and otherwise)
- material excesses (i.e. MORE STUFF)
Psalm 103:15-16 "As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more."
We can talk about material excesses but what about general material comforts of life... (health, food, shelter...) Can we offer our souls in exchange for them and still violate what Jesus is telling His listeners?
Esau sold his God-given birthright and blessing as the first-born son of Isaac for a bowl of stew because he was hungry... Jacob played a role in obtaining it underhandedly but Esau sold it! (Gen 25:31-33)
Job's friends and even his own wife encouraged him, because of the terrible tragedies to his family and his own body, to curse God! (Job 2)
It is easy for me to look hard at the excesses and say, "man... I'm glad I'm not wrapped up in that! I am glad I don't need to have all the newest stuff or fastest car, or power or prestige or title..."
And yet, I sometimes live my life AS IF God owes me at least the basics... is it not the same prideful, arrogant, belligerent, entitled heart?
The verse from Mark 8 from the beginning of this post, read in context, by the power of the Holy Spirit brings conviction to my heart and I am grateful for the Lord's kindness that leads to repentance.
Mar 8:34-36 "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?'"