What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36, KJ21)
Much effort is put forth in the course of our living to retain things. We have deep desires as human beings to retain as much as possible during our days on this earth. Retaining things in life seems to be a natural aspect of our living, yet our intention retaining does not always bring gain.
Retaining a career or business position might not always be the best for us, if our superiors are demanding more than we want or can psychologically, morally or physically deliver. We could lose our enthusiasm for life, our health and most importantly the moral core of our being that gives us direction and strength for living. We might have retained a position, but we have gained nothing but our wages.
Investing considerable time and effort in our home or a system or plan to retain our material possessions and our monetary savings might work for gain, but it can evaporate in an instant, due to innumerable events beyond our control. What we intended to retain, can be lost.
Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of all things offered a different course of action in His kingdom than the typical way of living, where time and effort are devoted to retention of things in this life on earth. He knew how flimsy and futile all the best intentional retaining in life could be. Much of what we desire to retain is of this earth, and it can easily be lost. Even to gain the whole world would be no gain in the eternal sense if you miss the salvation and keys to the eternal kingdom Christ freely offers.
Thus, Christ asks us, as He asked His disciples to let go of our dedication, efforts and our great desire to retain things that cannot be retained for His eternal Kingdom. It will be of absolutely no gain to retain everything in this world but lose your soul. It is the letting go of the things of this earth and through the giving up of ourselves that we will gain the only things, which will be retained for eternity.
Suggested Reading Mark 8