What Good Is It?
by Kimberly B. Southall

It feels great to get something new and exciting, doesn't it? Of course, it does. And it is easy to think of all sorts of things that we'd like to receive as gifts. But all of this concentration on material things is not good for us. Instead, we ought to be directing our thoughts toward what really matters–not material things that we can touch, but on spiritual things that will matter forever. Jesus talked about this:

36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels. –Mark 8:36-38 (NIV)

Jesus asked what good those material things are if we end up losing our soul. The obvious answer is that they aren't any good at all to us if we end up spending eternity in hell. You see, none of the things around us will last forever. Only the souls of people and spiritual things like love, faith, and hope will last forever. There is nothing wrong with having and using material things. Indeed, we need food, clothing, shelter, and other things. However, we need to remember that all good things come from God and that we are expected to use them in ways which are pleasing to Him. And we must remember not to place more importance on anything than we do on God.

The way that we can be sure that we will not forfeit, or give up, our souls is through Jesus. In the passage of scripture above, He is called "the Son of Man." So it is important that we direct our thoughts and attention toward Jesus and never be ashamed of Him. Someday He will come for His followers in glory with the holy angels, and we surely don't want Him to be ashamed of us then!

Let us put our belongings to good use. Let's use our material things in ways which will please Jesus rather than make Him ashamed of us. Let's ask ourselves what sort of use Jesus would make of something and then do what we believe He would do. Ask yourself, "What good is it?" Then, if you can think of a way to put something to good use for Jesus, do it!

Copyright © 2001 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.