An Unwise Trade
Children sometimes make unwise trades. They are willing to give up things of real value to get things that are pretty useless. Their motivation is usually to satisfy a short term want they can meet right now in exchange for long term benefit down the road. Unfortunately, this trait of children often carries into adulthood. We see this in the Bible as Esau trades his birthright for a pot of stew. Many adults in our society do not save for retirement or even a rainy day because of things they want right now…not things they need, but things they want. Jesus warns His disciples of this very thing in a conversation with His disciples recorded for us in Matthew chapter 16: 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
What profit is it if you and I gave the whole world and lose our soul? What value is there in living for this life when it is so brief; instead of placing our emphasis on eternal life which lasts forever? Jesus says that the follower of His will deny Himself and take up His cross…those are actions we take to diminish the priority of this life in light of the increased priority of eternal life. It doesn’t mean that this life is irrelevant or unimportant. Rather, this life is far, far less important than eternal life. If we focus on this life and the things of this world, we make an unwise trade…ultimately losing focus on the benefit of following and serving Jesus.