Matthew 16:26 is a well known and popular verse of the Bible; “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” We have referred to this verse more than once in past articles, for these questions raised here by Jesus are good points to contemplate.
Just as the Bible is called a living book, it’s insights into human behavior, despite its bi-millennial age, continues to reaffirm its accurate perceptions of the conduct of natural man. As this verse implies, our desire for instant gratification regardless of cost knows no boundaries either by culture or epoch.
In case you missed it, earlier this spring a popular computer game maker was offering their products with the following clause in it’s contract: “By placing an order via this website on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant us a non-transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should we wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul and any claim you may have on it, within five working days of receiving written notification from us or one of our duly authorized minions.” There was a large box to check off later in the contract if you believed you didn’t have an immortal soul, had already given it away, or just wished to withhold their license, but only 12% of the 7,500 on-line purchasers bothered to do it. This did turn out to be an April fool type prank, but how many buyers just went right to the “I Agree” button and clicked so they could get what they desired as quickly as possible. You could say that they equated their soul’s value with the price of an electronic game.
The overwhelming character trait represented here may be the carelessness with which we tend to hold ourselves. The purchasers wanted the games and didn’t want to be bothered by reading the legal agreement. What if the contract had said that you gave them the right to use your credit card for their own business purposes up to $5,000? You would be really upset but, you signed the contract. I suppose that many who just clicked “I Agree” simply didn’t think it was anything other than a standard agreement. Carelessness, however, can lead to many tragedies; car accidents, house fires, overwhelming debt, and failed marriages. There is also a disregard for your spiritual future. Thinking that being young and strong and having your whole life ahead of you, the call to be reconciled to Christ can be put off until later. Jesus’ words, “Come unto me”, are carelessly put aside as your soul is being immersed in the pleasures of today. As I write this today I know of a young man in his late twenties, lying in a coma, a victim of his own alcohol and drug use. Of his life, if he ever recovers, you could say he exchanged his immortal soul for a few, short years of partying and drunkenness. He will meet Jesus, as we all will, but he will meet Jesus as the dispenser of only justice, for he disregarded His offer of forgiveness when he had the opportunity to take it.
Pray for him for there is still hope, and take heed for yourself that you are also not carelessly selling your own soul, and bargaining it away so cheaply.