A Bad Bargain

Read: St. Matthew 6:24-33

Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?”

Unfortunately we frequently don’t recognize a bad bargain until it is too late. We usually learn from such experiences, however, and become more wary in the future.

But wouldn’t it be tragic beyond words to stand at the very gates of eternity and to learn at that crisis moment that our whole life has been “a bad bargain” — that we had made all of our investments in the wrong things? Jesus was referring to this ultimate “bad bargain” when he asked, “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?

Perhaps at no other time in previous history has the world been so full of potentially “bad bargains.” Ours is an age of materialism. Our lives are being cluttered with more and more “things” – cars, television sets, radios, electronic gadgets, luxurious homes and furnishings, expensive and unnecessary wardrobes, jewelry, and a hundred and one other things that we once considered luxuries, but now have become “necessities.” It is a daily challenge to keep our sense of values straight.

What do we consider our highest gain in life? Material possessions? Status? Popularity? Financial investments? There is nothing wrong in these things in themselves. But ultimately they will all prove bad bargains if we have not (above all else) invested in the highest good. Jesus tells us, “Seek first the kingdom of God (that is, our spiritual welfare) and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” St. Matthew 6:33

There is no higher good in all the world than to have Jesus Christ in our hearts as our personal Savior and Lord. The poet puts it very eloquently:

What is the world to me With all its vaunted pleasure
When You and You alone, Lord Jesus, are my Treasure.
You only, dearest Lord, My soul’s delight shall be;
You are my Peace, my Rest — What is the world to me!

By George Michael Pfefferkorn

 How has prayer helped you? How does your personal prayer time and communal prayer time in worship inform and feed you? Look for more stories of prayer in next week’s Monday Meditation.