"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
In these materialistic days, many people have become abnormally occupied with investments and returns, capital gains and losses, balance sheets and cash flows. This is nothing new, of course. The prevalence of covetousness is so universal, in one form or another, that God had to place a prohibition on it in the Ten Commandments.
The Lord Jesus made a heart-searching comparison one day, when He posed a surprising question relative to divine bookkeeping. Not even the riches of all the world could purchase one human soul, yet men often seem willing to sacrifice their souls in pursuit of riches. Is such an exchange really a sound investment? Merely to ask the question is to answer it.
Earning wealth is good, if it is acquired honorably and by the will of God, but coveting wealth and hoarding wealth are foolish sins. Here is another of many divine profit-and-loss statements: "There is [he] that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is [he] that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches" (Proverbs 13:7). The true measure of profit and loss is the balance sheet kept in heaven. One must first glean an account there, however, and this means coming to God empty-handed, on the basis of Christ's free gift of His own riches. "Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9). He died for us, that we might live through Him.
Then, once our heavenly account is established, here is real investment counseling: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth . . . But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, . . . for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21). HMM