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  • Writer's pictureDwight Smith

What Does It Profit A Man…


jewels and riches

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:26-37)

Jesus wants us to think. When one does, it becomes immediately evident that these verses are not simply a catchy slogan. They point us to a guiding principle by which we must interpret time, especially our personal time here on earth.

The presumption of Jesus is that the final state of our soul is more important than anything else. This does mean that other things are not important. But, in comparison to the soul (ie judgement and eternity) they pale in comparison!!

Presuppositions always speak louder than words. They are not always revealed. And, too often many do not recognize their presuppositions.

This lack of awareness comes from two sources, ultimately interrelated to each other. On one side, we too easily embrace other peoples, or marketers, or educators, or church leaders, etc. presuppositions. More often than not, these presuppositions are not recognized, not questioned, and not rejected.

The greater complicator is that too many of us do not think. Are we lazy? Are we willing to allow life to live us rather than live life? Does thinking intimidate us? Created in the image of God, and realizing that all of us have the God given capacities that come with it, thinking should not overwhelm us or catch us “napping.”

Not thinking, at the very least means that we more likely than not have embraced somebody else’s presuppositions. Presuppositions are potentially dangerous things. They can lead to decisions and actions that are not only humanly dangerous, they disregard God.

Human rights activists say that we value life. But the same people do not bat an eye at taking the life of an unborn baby! What is their presupposition, and where does it lead us?

People declare themselves committed to resolving poverty. But the same people don’t bat an eye at a personal lifestyle totally unrestrained, or critique the cost.

Church leaders say that they are committed to lost people. Or, as I have stated it, every man, woman and child. Yet, a quick review of their church budget or conversion statistics, reveals the opposite. They care about themselves more.

On and on we can go describing one contradiction after another. All of these thoughts and actions are rooted in presuppositions. Often, not realized, rarely pushed back on, even in our own minds.

Jesus says quite clearly. What are your presuppositions? If the presuppositions and the correspondent actions are not based upon the importance of, and, the eternality of your soul, first and foremost, you have the wrong presuppositions!

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