“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).
Everyone is in pursuit of something. Some are pursuing a career; some are pursuing a mate; some are pursuing a degree; some are pursuing a title or position; some are pursuing a goal. What people are pursing is vast and wide, but everyone is in pursuit of something.
By nature of pursuit, it means that we have to make what has been called sacrifices, and whether our pursuit is selfish in nature or benevolent, we like to believe the end goal is worth the sacrifice. But have you really thought about what you are pursuing versus what you are “sacrificing?”
Sacrifice sounds so spiritual, so noble, so honorable and for those that make genuine sacrifices for values we all hold dear, like freedom, democracy and safety, I salute their sacrifices. However, many people who believe they are making sacrifices, are actually forfeiting something or someone in order to gain something else. Deception is very hard to detect, because it is deceiving.
Parents forfeit time with their children to “give them the life they never had;” spouses forfeit time with each other to pursue personal passions, dreams or goals. Pastors forfeit time ministering to the Lord so they can minister to people. Politicians forfeit their integrity and their authenticity so they can win a position. Athletes forfeit their bodies, so they can have a trophy, a medal or a personal satisfaction.
One of the greatest losses in our society is that we have forfeited the wisdom of the aged for the zeal of the young. We have looked to the youth to lead us and have forfeited the wisdom that comes with age and experience. In doing so, we have a society that forfeits children for phones; marriages for money; time spent with the Lord for television, social media or the newspaper. If we could hear the voices of the ones who have gone before us, they would say it’s not worth the price.
We spend hundreds of dollars on smart phones and cable bills and yet our communication with one another is worse not better, our children are angrier than before, and our family time has been replaced with television time. Do you realize how much we have forfeited and how little we have gained?
One of the gifts the kingdom of God is bringing to the earth is an awakening of our love for God and our love for one another. When we realize the value of humanity, we will stop forfeiting them for technology. I know we need to work, but the Bible says the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and adds no sorrow (toil, striving, forfeiting) to it. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (His order for living), all these things (toys, technology, whatever) will be added to us (see Matt. 6:33).
If something has been stolen from you, then God can restore it back to you; if you have forfeited something, you can take it back, but it is going to take courage. Take a moment and think about what you have forfeited in pursuit of _____________________. When you are 70, 80, 90, 100 years old, I have been told you will look back and realize whatever you gained was not worth the price of what you forfeited. Wisdom is looking ahead and seeing what is coming, while preparing for that day right now. It’s not too late to course correct. His grace is sufficient, and His love never fails.
Lisa Great is an author, speaker and blogger with Mouthpiece Ministries International. She has been in ministry for over 25 years, she has a B.A. in Youth and Family Studies, a M.A. in Education. She can be reached at mouthpieceministries.net;