“[T]hose who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31 NIV84)
Jesus says in the Gospels, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits (loses) his own soul?” Quite a rhetorical question I would say. If one really thought at the end of the day, or life, that these were the only two options, I think most would choose to have their souls. With our verse for today Paul wrote in a similar vein, but he added a very important point. Paul made clear that at the end of the day — at the end of our life — if we chose the things of this life, we would lose because it’s all passing away. Ultimately, it becomes a choice between that which is (your soul) and nothing. No matter how hard we work to hold onto the things of this world, it will end. It will all end. The language of the committal service is right: “We brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we can take nothing out.”
It never has been, is not, and will never be about the stuff we have. God simply gives us the stuff we have as earthly provision for life. He requires that we, as wise stewards, use our earthly stuff to bring glory to His name and to further His kingdom. The only thing He calls us to hold on to is Him. As branches connected to the Vine, we need to cling to Him and to Him only. Jesus clarifies this again when He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to you.”
Let’s keep ourselves from becoming engrossed over the stuff we have by remembering always that it will all pass away.