Yesterday we looked at a familiar verse, but there’s more about this powerful question from Jesus that we need to unpack.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
(Mark 8:36 NIV)
Gaining the outside world doesn’t help us out if our inside world is collapsing, yet we spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with the world that everyone else can see, all the while neglecting what’s really going to matter in light of eternity.
Culture encourages this. Be true to yourself, express yourself, fulfill yourself, love yourself, take care of yourself, stand up for yourself, take a “selfie” and post it for the world to see. Problem is, when you post a selfie, the world only sees the exterior. Inside you could be disintegrating because your soul is losing its center.
Last week I had a great conversation with my dad about something I read and needed to verify. Dad grew up on a farm in Central Michigan and what he verified for me was powerful. In the Midwest where blizzards in the winter are common, farmers will run a rope from the barn to the door of the house in case a blizzard hits. That way, during the whiteout, the rope can be grabbed onto and used to guide them home.
People had died in their own yard trying to get from the barn to the house in a blizzard because they couldn’t find their way. Sometimes, life comes at you like a blizzard and it’s impossible to see where you’re going and if you don’t have something to grab onto when it happens, you could die trying to get home.
I submit to you that a well-ordered soul is the rope we need to guide us home. A well-ordered self can be nothing more than an illusion to look great in front of the outside world. A well-ordered soul on the other hand will anchor us.
When King David went through a mid-life blizzard and became an adulterer and a murderer within a short time, he recognized that his public image and past victories weren’t sufficient to get him through this dark night. His own words bear this out.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. (Psalms 51:6 NKJV)
Truth in the inward parts – a well ordered soul in a white out – will be the rope from the barn to the house that will lead you home.
What are some blizzards you’ve faced in your life? Did you have a rope or did you try to self-navigate your way home? Are you in a white-out now? Do you have a rope? Be honest enough to identify this and ask The Lord to help you restructure your inner world so it becomes your anchor.