With the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, a number of Christian writers have published tributes on the web today (John Dyer, Greg Thornbury, Mike Anderson, Al Mohler, Justin Taylor, and Joseph Gorra, to name a few). For me, Jared Wilson’s thoughts are particularly sobering:
This morning I tweeted “What does it profit a man to change the world but lose his own soul?” I was taken to task by two (so far) people for lacking compassion. But the opposite is true.
It is a hollow compassion to mourn the loss of a man’s products and creativity and set aside the potential loss of his soul as not as important, even if what we just mean is that it’s not as important at this time. Nobody I have seen is denying Jobs’s incredible impact and artistry. But Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:26 point us in the direction of greater grief, deeper grief.
A grief that mourns the loss of a man’s worldly accomplishments but feels no anxiety for his eternal destiny is upside down. A man’s worth lay not in his achievements or success but in his being made in the image of God. Setting aside for the moment the state of Jobs’s eternal destiny — because none of us can really know for sure — let us just be real about what is at stake in this life. It’s not fame and renown, it’s not the fulfillment of our gifts and talents, it’s not the altruistic good we can do our fellow man — it is eternal life and eternal death. All else is treasure that rusts.
I encourage you to read the whole post here.