What Good Is The Gain & Acclaim If You Lose Your Soul?
January 14, 2015
A few days ago my husband and I watched a movie about Steve Jobs and Apple. I thought it was a well-done movie, but it also reminded me of some sad facts about all of humanity. One is the fact that power, fame, and money do most often erode, not improve, a person’s decent character.
When has power, fame, or money ever caused the recipient to be more compassionate and caring toward others? When has power, fame, or money ever caused the recipient to become more Christ-like? When has power, fame, or money ever caused the recipient to turn his back on striving for more of the same so that he takes time to seek and “honor the God who holds in His hand everyone’s life and all their ways”? (See Dan. 5:23) The answer for all three questions is: Rarely.
Self-centered. Ruthless. Selfish. Cruel. Arrogant. Thoughtless. Deceitful. Need I go on? A host of negative adjectives can be used to describe most of those who clamor to gain more and more power, fame, or money. Betraying those who helped them, cared about them, befriended them, prayed for them, and/or loved them, the person consumed by greed not only finds happiness and contentment elusive, but realizes too late that he withered his own soul in the process. As a result, his earthly end is hollow and his eternity is the darkness. (Mt. 16:24-27 w/ 25:30 and John 5:29)
Those who invent incredible and useful things are to be commended and Steve Jobs certainly gave society something great. I, like most, truly enjoy and appreciate my laptop and the knowledge and abilities accessible to me through it. But did Jobs give God glory for giving him his genius? I saw no evidence of that, nor did I see it when I did a bit of internet research on him. There had been a rumor that Jobs had experienced a conversion to Christ in his last months of illness, but I read nothing that proved that at all.
Hence another sad fact I thought about: Genius, not submitted to God, is foolishness to God. (1 Cor. 3:19)
The movie definitely made me worship the Lord, because it is He who has equipped mankind with the potential and the means with which to invent things otherwise inconceivable. But the movie also made me sad as it reminded me of the masses of people who have dedicated their lives, not to Jesus and His Gospel, but instead to achieving, even ruthlessly, power, fame, or money –things that will be burned up in the end. As Jesus has warned us, such people will lose for eternity. (Mark 8:35)
For the rest of the evening after watching the movie, Mark 8:36 kept coming to mind: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
Steve Jobs certainly gained prestige across the globe. He certainly succeeded in making his product better and better, achieving for it and himself great acclaim. But, if he forfeited his soul in the process, what good was it for him? God’s Word give us the answer: None. (Luke 12:15-21 & 16:19-31)