Not For Sale at Any Price
I’ve always enjoyed selling goods and services. In my adult life I have sold long distance service, website design, graphic design, printing, cleaning supplies, cleaning services, liquidated items, hardware items, credit card merchant accounts, home repair services and more. It has never been difficult for me to sell as long as the goods or services I was selling had two characteristics. I had to believe in the product or service and it had to be something of good value to the customer. Having said that, I’d like to make note of a few things that neither you nor I should sell at any price.
First, our principles should not be for sale at any price. By “principles” I mean those values that have shaped our Christian character. The basis of these values or principles is God’s Word. They define who we are. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” The reputation for good that we establish through our actions takes a considerable amount of time to build up but only a moment to destroy. Once destroyed, a reputation can rise from the ashes, but it is very difficult simply because some people will not forget what we have done, some cannot forget what we have done and others refuse to let US forget what we have done. Our principles guide our thoughts and actions. They urge us to do that which is right and raise a red flag before us when we are tempted to do wrong. They can indeed be sold by those who do not maintain a heavenly focus. Many have compromised their principles for a meager exchange of earthly reward. Once they’ve been sold, not only does the one who sold out begin to devalue his or her principles, but others do as well. Once we compromise our Biblically grounded principles, we will find it a considerable challenge to get anyone to believe us when we try later to go back to those principles
Secondly, the truth should not be for sale at any price. Proverbs 23:23 exhorts, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” No lie is darker than the proverbial little white lie because it is the height of self-deception. People who would not tell “whoppers” feel justified in mildly massaging the truth, especially if they feel they have a good reason. Revelation 21:8 says that among those who will experience the second death of eternal damnation are liars. How could we ever expect anyone to trust us if we engage in even the “smallest” of lies? In like manner, how could we ever expect to lead anyone to salvation if we do not proclaim the whole counsel of God by telling the truth as it is found in the Bible (Acts 20:27)? Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). How can we lead people from spiritual bondage to everlasting freedom if we sell out the truth? Jesus said God’s Word is truth and is the only source of sanctification (John 17:17). We most certainly cannot save souls, ours or anyone else’s, if we sell out the truth and compromise it for the sake of appeasement in relationships or numbers in worship services.
Finally, our souls should not be for sale at any price. Jesus expressed the value of the soul when He asked, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37). Peter declared that a soul is of such significant worth that only the precious blood of Jesus Christ can redeem the soul from Satan and cleanse that soul for heaven (I Peter 1:18-19). Many times over the years in my preaching, teaching and writing I have said that there is nothing on earth that is worth having if it means losing your soul in order to have it. That goes for possessions, positions and persons. No amount of money, no matter what you can buy with it or all the supposed good you can do with it, is worth having if it means losing your soul to have it. No position on earth, regardless of its prestige and power, is worth having if it means losing your soul to have it. No personal relationship, including an unscriptural marriage partner, is worth having if it means losing your soul to have him or her. Our souls are worth far too much to sell them out for anything that is temporal in nature.
Sadly, some are selling their principles, the truth and their souls at bargain prices because they just love the world too much. It takes discipline and determination to hold onto that which is precious but in so doing we will please God here and be welcomed home by Him in eternity. When it comes to comparing the value of earthly rewards to eternal rewards, don’t sell out your eternal blessing for a few moments of pleasure. It’s just not worth it.