The Kingdom of Heaven is about what is best for our soul. What truly sustains us? What truly brings us life? The world is full of empty promises and temptations. God promises the life that is truly life.

The Greek word translated “life” here is the same as the one translated “soul”. One of the paradoxes of God’s worldview is that we gain life’s greatest rewards by dying to the fleshly parts of ourselves. When we focus on self, we lose ourselves. The true way to find ourselves is through serving.

That means we will find the truest manifestation of our life/soul in community – with God and others. Not just being with them, but serving them with our gifts. Not hoarding what we have to offer, but embracing the vulnerability of service to others.

Like the proverbial boiled frog in a pot, we can be lulled ever-so-gradually into hoarding what is “ours”. Insulating ourselves from the pain that inevitably comes from engaging with others. Storing all we have acquired in “barns” to spend upon ourselves. But in doing so, we lose our lives.

Conversely, when we lose our lives by setting aside our own desires and instead following the commands of Christ, that is when we find our lives. And what does Christ command? That we serve with our gifts as an organ or member serves our body. We do what we do to the benefit of others. We express our talents to the benefit of others.

That might be in business, family, church, neighborhood, association, team, company, party, or any other place where two or more are gathered. If we are with others, God is there. And we have the opportunity to be salt and light. The way to gain our life is to lose it for Jesus.

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
– Mark 8:35-36