Read Matthew 16:26
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (NLT)
When we hear the word ‘soul’ we usually jump to the conclusion that it refers to some ‘spiritual’ part of us. It is to do with our essential selves and embraces the whole of our life. In fact,the word for ‘soul’ is much the same as the word for ‘life’.
Jesus is telling us not to so pursue the material benefits this world offers that we lose sight of our true,best selves. This does involve the issue of neglecting God’s offer of eternal life by embracing merely material goals. But it goes further than this. It involves sacrificing the essence of life here and now.
By focussing primarily on the material,on money,pleasure,success,popularity,we are in danger of losing our true identity. We become swamped by these materialistic goals and are under their power. We have gained much but lost our very selves. A rich and famous and powerful person may be hollow at the core.
Our true identity is as children of our creator and father. Lose sight of that and we become torn this way and that by our fluctuating passions and projects. As Jesus says elsewhere,we only truly find our real selves when we lose our illusory false selves. In his kingdom,losers are winners.