The Price of a Soul

This continues a series on Proverbs & Money.

Proverbs 11:4
Riches do not profit
in the day of wrath,
but righteousness
delivers from death.

Everything has a price. If we got the money, they’ve got the time. My dad would often intentionally misquote the golden rule by saying it like this: “He who has the gold rules!”. Such sarcasm is hard to counter since we see it regularly tested and repeatedly confirmed in the world around us. There is one exception, though, and it is massively important. In fact, this exception is so weighty and sure, that it is really our own near-sightedness that would cause us to see it as the exception instead of the rule itself. 

What is this exception to my dad’s “golden rule”? It is this: the price tag for our soul is not measured in greenbacks and gold, but in the incorruptible life-blood of Christ. The gospels repeatedly ask us to evaluate the benefit of using earthly riches in an attempt to buy back our soul. Of course, the gospel’s are asking a rhetorical question since we obviously can’t produce the required currency, and since God’s currency exchange desk is closed to all foreigners (Mark 8:36-37). 

Before we chide the wealthy, note that the issue is not whether we have or don’t have riches. The issue is whether we have righteousness. Solomon was the richest king that ever lived. There were rich members of the early church. There are rich Christians today. Riches and righteousness are not mutually exclusive. But, and it’s a big BUT, whether we have uncle Ben with us or not means nothing in the day of wrath. Riches do have a way of blinding us to that fact. 

The determinative factor on the day of wrath what has been internally credited to our account. Make sure that it is Christ and His righteousness. Amazingly, He bore the day of wrath at the cross since “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

Questions for how we might determine if we are trying to use riches to secure our safety in the day of wrath:
1. Do we spend measurably more time worrying about the security of our job or our security in Christ?
2. … reviewing our bank account or our Bible?
3. … complaining or thanks giving?
4. … grieving over our 401(k) or unconfessed sin?
5. … trying to get or give? 

All posts in this "Proverbs and Money" series were submitted by a friend of Aaron's who wishes to remain anonymous.

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