Lose It To Save It
I'm taking someone else's word for it, I didn't count myself, but supposedly there are over 3000 questions asked in the Bible. Often times, we see Jesus (and others) asking questions when He's not really asking a question at all, He's making a statement, a profound statement, that teaches people when they are forced to consider the answer.
One such statement is recorded in Mark 8:35-37. "What can anyone give in exchange of their soul?" We see in our world today what some trade their soul for, and no we don't sit in judgment, but we are not blind. We see people deny Christ to pursue careers, fame and fortune, hobbies, sports, and the list is long. We see people leave families for adulterous relationships with other people. We see people with agendas that consume them that are anything but God-driven or God approved, and we observe some that their whole essence is just denying God period. So many worldly pursuits can come between us and God, even innocent things that in and of themselves are not sinful. Let us consider our own lives and see where we stand!
So let us look at the question, what is there to gain, really? What is worth trading our soul for? Satisfaction of physical desires and pursuits can't save one's soul, assuming scripture is correct and certainly, we know it is, so even if people become rich or famous, what have they really gained? How many times in our lives have we read these words of Jesus, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it"? Do we understand what that means?
Like most topics we address here, space only allows us to scratch the surface of the answer. But the bottom line is that if we live our lives toward (for, in compliance with, in obedience to) God, then the pursuit of our careers, the things we devote much of our earthly time and energy to are acceptable to God, because they take a back seat to what God desires. God retains the #1 spot in our lives, both in our desires and in our actions. He is in the driver's seat! God gives us a way to pursue what we want (assuming it's acceptable to Him) and we are pleasing to Him when we conform our will to His in the matter.
God may allow us to achieve great things, even make a lot of money, but our lives must be about pleasing God and obeying His will and no longer about what we want, rather about what He wants for us. The things of this physical world are no longer the things we live for. We submit to be lead by God because we belong to Him, and everything else we do revolves around that.
If we put the worldly things first and work hard to achieve them and manage to be successful in all of that, yet leave God out of the picture, what good have we done? In the end, we are told that we will have forfeited our soul in our choice to live our lives outside of the realm of God, outside of His Kingdom, outside of His love. Is there a chance today that we are doing that? Is there a chance that we are achieving success in our way of thinking, yet have lost it all in God's view? If we want to be His disciples, we will neglect our will and choose to follow His will each and every day.
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Mark 8:35-37). Associated passages, Matt 10:39, Luke 9:23.