What Shall It Profit You?
Jesus warned against choosing the wrong goal in life. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”—Mark 8:38. No matter how great our material success in life might be in achieving possessions, power, honor, and prestige; it will be of no benefit to us if our life is not pleasing to God. God is pleased when we are obedient in all things, not when we disobey and disregard him—Matthew 7:21-23. Even as a good income does not create love and a beautiful home does not make a beautiful character, even so true riches are not found in material possessions but are instead the fruits of a Christian life. Jesus said. . . “Take heed and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”— Luke 12:15.
God created all things through Christ Jesus (John 1:1-3) and by his power that creation continues to, exist. All things belong to God. If we spend our lives trying to grab all we can in material things, we try to accumulate that which in the true sense can never be ours and which we must leave behind at the grave. We cannot take it with us; it is left to others.
In seeking God’s physical blessings, man forgets the one from whom they derive. Men are like selfish children who argue and fight over their parents’ gifts but have not the slightest feeling of gratitude to the parents for them. Often we are so busy in our own planning that we have no time to spare for the God who has given us everything. Our gratitude for his goodness should cause us to turn to God and honor him; but to the shame of mankind the heart of man holds little appreciation for God. As it is written: ” . . . not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”—Romans 2:4. When we use all of God’s blessings but are not even grateful, when these blessings do not move us to love and obey God; then we have truly failed in life. Possessions in themselves are not wrong but they should never be our goal in life. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”—Matthew 6:33.
Man was not created to remain on earth but God created man that he might inherit eternal life—Titus 1:2; Matthew 25:34. Our life here is a time in which we are to prepare to meet our God. Since the only purpose in life is to so live that we please God, we can understand how useless and senseless a life will be if that life is not lived in Christ Jesus. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life—John 5:11-12. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”—John 14:6.
Parents who make every effort to provide their children with adequate food, clothing, and educational opportunities, lavishing love and affection on them, still fail their children completely if they do not provide them with a Christian example. They fail in that area of child training which is of supreme importance, the care of the soul for which our Lord died. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”—Ephesians 6:4. Many children grow up with little or no knowledge of Christ and God because their parents were too busy to bother about the one who gives them life and breath, and who holds out to them the hope of life everlasting. Strangely enough, many parents spend all of their care on the child’s body which must die and none on his spirit which must live in eternity.
Young people in planning their life must remember that if their life is not consecrated to God, they will fail in life’s only purpose. Man is created for God and for God only. We must not live unto ourselves but “to the one who died for us and rose again that we might live in him.”—II Corinthians 5:15. Christ died to save our souls from everlasting condemnation: He did not die to help us to live the good life here. We must make preparation for the Day of Judgment for no shall escape it. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”—II Corinthians 5:10. We could miss many of the conveniences in this life and still have everything if we have so lived that we please God; but though the whole world should ring with our praises and all of life’s pleasures be ours, we shall have gained nothing if we lose our own soul.