Vol. 2, No. 38 – 9-17-2017
What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? What shall a man give for his soul? Mark 8:36-37
Sometimes we dream about the things we want, even thinking what we might do that would be considered good; if we would only open the mailbox to discover a check for $20,000,000.
Robert Thompson owned 189 newspapers and just under 300 other businesses. He had personal assets of over $300,000,000. When asked if he would like to own the New York Times, he replied, “I would mortgage my soul” for it.
- Living does not require massive wealth
- Happiness does not require hoarding
- Contentment does not require top positions
B.C. Forbes (1917) contemplated man’s idea of success: Too often in talking with so-called successful men I cannot but feel that they are making business an end and aim in itself; that they regard the multiplying of their millions and the extension of their works as the be-all and end-all of life, life itself. Such men are sometimes happy in a feverish hustling sort of way, much as a fly placed in a tube of oxygen is furiously happy until its life burns out and they die.
As Mark records, Jesus is articulating a significant difference between the spiritual and the humanistic mindset. We still live in the “me” generation—it is all about us. Most of us do not even know how to arrive someplace on time. We are too busy squeezing our activities of life into the immediate; thus downplaying the next commitment we have. When it comes to God, the common reaction of the earth-bound person is to attempt to negotiate with His authority, offer excuses for our behaviors, and to focus on happiness as the necessary outcome of our lives.
However, that is dishonest with reality. Jesus asks, “What is your motive?” Again, if the natural man is honest, the motive is self. Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow Me.” Further, He asks, “What is your future aim?” The common answer is security, gain, material, and cash. The mind of Jesus offers, “Why not lose your life for My sake; then you will gain life. You will get by giving. That is the outcome.”
In addition, Jesus asks another question, “What value do you place on things? How does that work out for you in view of eternity? How is your stock and investments really doing?” There is a subtle statement that is not forthrightly given, but it is there. “Where you go in eternity is dependent upon what you pursue in your life on the earth. Your heart responds to what you place within—all your thoughts, speaking, and actions follow what you place in your heart.” The outcome is plain.
- Do we sacrifice honor for profit?
- Do we sacrifice values for political correctness?
- Do we sacrifice integrity for popularity?
- Do we sacrifice quality for the cheap?
If so, we are mortgaging our soul for what is corrupt. That is the outcome. Outcomes are influenced by our motivations, aims, and values. Outcomes are determined by our relationship to Holy God. Have you looked at your outcomes lately?
If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. Luke 9:23
Passionately pursuing Christ in order to passionately pursue People