Mark 8:36: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

Questions are essential. We have a lifetime of probing, examining, wondering and wrestling ahead of us once we are born. Children have an innate curiosity, and they ask a lot of questions growing up. How they get to their answers depends. When my husband Bill was a little child he liked to know how things look from the inside. He wanted to find out how things work. One day he sat down and took a radio completely apart. To this day he still likes to examine new equipment, download extensive instruction manuals and push every button there is.

Questions start early and they should never stop coming. People are born to be seekers. God promises specifically, if someone seeks Him, that person will find Him. Seekers will eventually come to conclusions. God recommends getting to the important questions first. The Apostle Matthew wrote in his gospel (Matthew 6:33):

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Most important questions lead to God. Is there a soul? Where does life ultimately come from? Why am I here? Does death wipe us out completely? Once we have found answers to important questions, we can turn to more challenging puzzles.

We ask questions, we find answers and so our experience grows. And with our growing experience more complex questions arise. The gospel writer Mark has one for you (Mark 8:36): 

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

Assuming we have previously come to the conclusion that we have an immortal soul housed in our mortal body, the answer is obviously it’s no good to lose our soul. Our soul is the centerpiece in us that lives forever. Why would we give up on forever to get temporary gratification? To win the world, we should not sacrifice our conscience. If our mind is set on getting ahead, no matter the cost, then we gain nothing. In fact, we lose our soul over a wrong mantra.

Honest questions with sincere intentions will lead us to the truth. When it comes to solving complex problems, honesty helps us distinguish between good and bad solutions to initiate positive change. Good solutions don’t have to be perfect, but they should be opening up new avenues that give way to even better solutions. This is how growth works. Addressing one question at a time, we build world community, a community where God lives among us. And when God is with us we have gained the whole world – without even trying.

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