Soul: A Gift Worth Its Weight
Mark 8:34-38 is a text worth its weight. It states a choice every person makes in life about a possession worth more than any other. The soul given to each of us has never been priced from a monetary point, but when you consider not having one, it is worth more than anything.
In a chapel in southern France, the great emperor Charlemagne was buried in an unusual way. He was seated on a marble chair and wrapped in his emperor’s robes. In his lap is a copy of the New Testament. His finger is pointing to a verse which reads: “For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?”
“O teach me what it cost Thee,
To make a sinner whole;
and teach me, Savior, teach me,
The value of a soul.”
Lucy Ann Bennett
The point is clearly made from the illustrations above. The scriptures expound upon the value of a soul more than man can describe. Examples are given like the story of the rich man (Luke 12:15-21). He knew a lot about things. He was so smart he built bigger barns to store all his goods. Yet, he did not know the value of the most important gift he possessed - his soul. To him, what had the greatest value was what he accumulated and stored for “many years.” That night he was considered “thou foolish one.” “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (v. 21).
We need not underestimate the full force of the question, “What shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” The price of your soul is NOT what you are willing to pay for it, but what WAS paid for you to have it.
Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). God gives and God takes back what is His - your soul.
The price paid for our souls is found in 1 Peter 1:18-19. The price paid to redeem your soul, once it was lost in sin, is not what many people give in exchange for their souls. Most will opt for silver, gold, illicit pleasures, pills, one more dollar, or a host of corruptible things. What was paid for each soul was the precious, clean blood of God’s ONLY Son, Jesus. What a price to pay by someone else for the gift given to us!! Many have given their lives for the survival of someone else, but no one has paid the greatest price for our souls other than the one who gave it to us - GOD.
The capacity of our souls shows how much they are worth. Numbers 15:30-31 speaks of a soul being separated. A soul was cut off by distance from a relationship with family and friends. Such separation painfully fills a soul with anguish or hurt which is indescribable. When Hannah was unable to have a child, scripture says in 1 Samuel 1:10, “She was in bitterness of soul.” Job “spoke in the anguish of his soul” due to the weariness of his suffering (Job 7:11). Our souls have the capacity to carry heavy burdens of the consequences of sin or the trials of life. Our souls also have the capacity to accumulate a joy indescribable (1 Peter 1:8-9). Such joy comes from the salvation of the soul. There is no pleasure of body compared to the joy of a soul which continues to delight in God. Our souls are designed to be filled by loving God with our ALL (Matthew 22:37). One of the great signs of soul capacity is demonstrated back in the days of Hannah. Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk, but Hannah’s actions did not demonstrate a need for prescription medicine, a psychiatrist, or support group. The scripture says, “I poured out my soul before Jehovah” (1 Samuel 1:15). The emptying and filling capacity of our souls is a gift worth its weight.
A soul’s worth is related to its eternal existence. The story in Luke 16:19-31 describing the rich man “in torment...anguish” (vv. 23-25) and the beggar “comforted” in Abraham’s bosom (v. 25) shows eternal separation and experience of a soul. The body is separated from the soul, but the eternal experiences are everlastingly felt. Whatever experiences our souls encounter eternally depends upon what we do with our souls while we live. Although our time on earth is short, what our souls experience after this life needs our urgent attention. Eternity is forever. Whatever experiences our souls have in this life, it will not compare to our souls’ eternal experiences. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed to usward” (Romans 8:18). What profit is there to indulge in every possible lust-filled pleasure and experience pain, darkness, and anguish forever? However, O the value there is to seeking godliness and realize it is profitable for your soul, “...having the promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
Your soul is not your right to have. You were not asked to be born. Birth was a GIFT to you. Your soul is contained in that GIFT> Understand its worth. Believe your soul has the capacity to live for God. Only remember one thing - your soul is worth what you give in exchange for it. Of whatever else you may accomplish in life, losing your soul would cause you to be a total failure.