For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7).
Sorry, Saint Paul. You may have been an apostle who wrote half the New Testament, but I think you got that wrong.
Yes, we brought no material things such as money, clothing or wide-screen TVsbut we brought a lot into the world and will take a lot out.
Psalm 139 implies that we brought an eternal soul into this world in a body that is a unique, wonderful creation of God. And 1 Corinthians 12 teaches that a part of that divine creation includes our unique talents and abilities that we can use to serve Him.
So, when our earthly body dies, our eternal soul will live on. And our influence will also live on through our example and teaching. And our good deeds will “store up for [us] treasures in heaven.” (That’s why we’re not judged immediately at death, but only at the final judgment since our influence will continue to effect others’ lives long after we’re gone.)
So, Paul, I completely agree with you that we brought no material things with us and we’ll leave the same behind. But the secret, as you wrote, is to invest in those things that are imperishable:
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
How are we treating this wonderful creation of our bodies? How are we using the talents and abilities God built into our lives? And what kind of influence are we making upon our friends and family, coworkers, and fellow travelers?
You can take it with you!
Copyright © James N. Watkins
I’m Important! I’m interdependent! I’m indispensable! (Audio message from 1 Corinthians 12)