It is said that Americans know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but it does call attention to the fact that determining value is a lost art in our society.
Jesus had a way of getting your attention. He knew that everybody was interested in making a profit, so in Matthew 16:26 He said:
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
At that point his disciples’ ears were erect and Judas had his calculator poised for action. Profit, did he say profit? In our economically driven world the question of profit stirs the mind, quickens the pulse, and makes the blood run hot. We think of monetary gain and personal advantage, or perhaps a stock market surge. Yet our Lord’s question was probing concerning the most significant investment of life. The whole world on one side and your soul on the other.
Jesus was saying, think about it… what good are all your worldly investments if, in the process, you lose your soul. Eternal loss is a bad trade for temporal gain. If you get it all here in this life and lose it all there in the life to come, you are the ultimate loser.
Jim Elliot, the missionary who gave his life for Christ in the jungles of Ecuador, put it this way. He said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” So think about what Jesus said. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Nothing you invest here in this world is going to last. Think about that the next time you are thinking about profit.