Suppose that a young man sent his fiancée a diamond ring costing him $10,000, placing it in a little case which the jeweller threw in for nothing. How disappointed he would be, if upon meeting her a few days later, she would say, “Sweetheart, that was a lovely little box you sent me. To take special care of it, I promise to keep it wrapped up in a safe place so that no harm shall come to it.”
Rather ridiculous, isn’t it? Yet it is just as foolish for men and women to be spending all their time and thought on their bodies, which are only cases containing the real self, the soul, which, the Bible tells us, will persist long after our bodies have crumbled to dust. The soul is of infinite value. Longfellow expressed it this way: Tell me not in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream, For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real, life is earnest, And the grave is not its goal. Dust thou art, to dust returneth, Was not spoken of the soul.
Indeed that statement was not made of the soul, for in Mark 8:36 our Lord Himself asks, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” So, in Christ’s estimate, man’s soul is something incomparably more valuable than the whole world.