Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mark 8:37

"Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Mark 8:37

 This is meant to be a rhetorical question in the scriptures I think... when an earlier verse asks what profit we would find if we gained the whole world and lost our own souls, or this verse where it it asks what we could possibly give in exchange for our souls, there is no possible answer.  There is nothing that would be gained, and nothing that we have that is worth that cost.  The problem is that sometimes we start thinking that there is. 
The world toys with the story of the devil fulfilling contracts for people's souls, and some people laugh it off as a minor issue.  Whether the contracts are literally true or not, the sad truth is that they are figuratively true.  Even if we never sign a contract, the choices that we make in this life are in essence showing God, and the world, and ourselves, what we would exchange for our souls.  It's pretty dramatic to say, well, choosing to do [fill in the blank] instead of going to church means that we are selling our souls for whatever it is that we did instead... and we can argue that it isn't true in the short term, surely. :)  But in the long term, with consistent similar choices, it becomes true.  We can trade God for Satan if we honor the latter more than the former, and make choices consistent with that.  Everything we do, and choose, is who we are becoming.  And that is scary sometimes.  Am I becoming a woman who yells at customer service representatives? :)  Am I becoming a woman who lies, or cheats, or is rude to other drivers, or pedestrians, or people on the subway?  Am I becoming power-hungry, or self-absorbed?  There are so many things that I am becoming, every day... so many things that we are all becoming... that it is important to see the ones that we don't want to be, and stop practicing those things before it turns us into those people that we never wanted to be.
Today, let's not let anything be more important to us than our souls.  Let's let nothing stand in our way of our relationship with God.  Let's make the choices that will turn us into the people we want to be, and avoid the choices that will harm us in the end.  ... Even if we have already made bad choices and we feel unredeemable, let's make the good choices anyway.  Often Satan throws some hopelessness at us to make us feel like we can never get back.  But, we're still here.  We still have choices to make.  Let's choose to turn to God, who can offer comfort, and hope, and forgiveness... and we can be the people who made it through even the most difficult choices, relying on God, and each other. :)

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