Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25 ESV)

I’m guessing that Jesus would look quizzically at me as though I’m a bit dense and somewhat simple for asking the following question, but here it is anyway: If life is more than food, and the body more than clothing, then what is the ‘more’ that is so important?

Maybe to people living in first century Palestine it was obvious, but to us living in cultures obsessed with materialistic consumerism we are in fact cultivated to consider having stuff and comfort as the full meaning of life. We define ourselves by the clothes we wear, the stuff we own, what we fill our supermarket trolleys with, our waistlines and our earning ability. In our culture the idyllic life is portrayed as being healthy, having endless money to spend while not needing to work and having a beautiful house with a fancy car in a gorgeous location. There are certainly variations on the theme, but overall if you take away food and clothing – and by extension all the other stuff too if I’m that deprived – what is there to live for?

Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
(Matthew 6:25 ESV)

Put me in a situation where I have only the absolute minimum, most bland food required to sustain life and only rags to cover myself – what is worth living for? I think this is the most important question we could ask. At the core, what is the point of being alive?

Jesus talks about something more valuable than life even – your soul (Matthew 16:26). It is horrific to consider, but there is a possibility of losing your soul (Matthew 10:28). That is the absolutely worst thing that could happen to anyone, so Jesus tells us how to safeguard against losing your soul:

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
(Matthew 16:25 ESV)

Could He put a higher price on it? Your life? In fact there is a higher price and He paid it – His life! If you embrace this then you can say with Paul:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21 ESV)

It is good for me to have a stark reminder of what is important and what isn’t. There are many things that I elevate too highly in importance at various times, I need to remember that life is more than…

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Wife
  • Children
  • Money
  • Job satisfaction
  • Sex
  • A house
  • A car
  • Computers
  • My blog

What do you elevate too highly and endanger your soul for?