“Doth that man love his Lord who would be willing to see Jesus wearing a crown of thorns, while for himself he craves a chaplet of laurel? Shall Jesus ascend to his throne by the cross, and do we expect to be carried there on the shoulders of applauding crowds? Be not so vain in your imagination. Count you the cost, and if you’re not willing to bear Christ’s cross, go away to your farm and to your merchandise, and make the most of them. Only let me whisper this in your ear, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” -Charles Spurgeon
This quote speaks nothing new. But it definitely serves as a reminder of how I am to live this life. I have a lot of work to do…
I’m so grateful that Jesus died for me, but I quickly forget that fact when I expect my own life to be full of great, posh, modern luxuries. I easily get lost in the “look-at-me” way of life, and I end up feeling like a loser when my deeds aren’t applauded above others’. I want people to like me. But Jesus didn’t live with this mentality.
In our lives, we think we are knowledgeable, we know so much about how things work, how to do this or that. It’s a good thing I’m humbled when on occasion I can’t even seem to come to know where my keys are. We have thoughts of creativity and elevate our opinions of our own selves, when everything we’ve created came from an earth that God created.
Where does this worldly elevation get me? According to Spurgeon, it gains me a farm and some merchandise. In other words, I gain the world. I get all the things my fleshy side cries out for (But let us not be quick to forget that this world is broken. Is it really the world I want to gain?).
For everything I gain, there’s something lost. My physical side might be content with the world (at least for a bit), but what about my heart? When my busy world comes to a brief standstill, I listen to my heart whispering, “I need Jesus!” It is at this moment when I must face the decision: will I choose to salvage the things of this world or will I choose the salvation of my soul?
The things that my flesh sees as praiseworthy: being accepted, successful, and important in other people’s eyes, all for the sake of making myself known.
The things my Savior sees as praiseworthy: being rejected, lowly, and set apart in other people’s eyes, all for the sake of making Jesus known.
That’s a difficult decision when I’m feeling selfish (which is a lot of the time). But as Charles Spurgeon (oh yeah, and Jesus!) whispers into my ear this phrase, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” it makes sense to me. The answer to that question is: nothing! Which makes the decision that my heart must make pretty black and white.
Much rather would I choose this God who gives me a choice to choose him. Much rather would I forfeit the world and all its pleasantries, knowing full well that at the end of the day, the world is void of any value. Much rather would I choose life eternal over this temporary life.
The choice is clear… now (and every day), I must make it!