Are you watching the Bottom Line?
In the business world maybe the most ubiquitous and key phrase of all is "The
Bottom Line" It is said all the time, sometimes in different ways, but the
message is the same, when all the work and energy and effort of work is boiled
down, the really important thing that MUST be kept in mind is "The Bottom
In Business we all know what this means. M-O-N-E-Y! MONEY! Making money is
the bottom line in the business world. The purpose and success of a business is
measured by it's ability to produce PROFIT, monetary gain, which is in fact "The
The genius of the Lord is seen in His teaching in many different ways, none
more clearly than in his ability to address the Bottom Line of life:
what shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own
soul?" Mark 8:36
The cold undeniable fact is that no matter how much of the worlds "bottom line"
we achieve and gain the they do not and cannot be kept or maintained beyond a
relatively short time. God has outsmarted man. Outside of Him, no pleasures of
life will be lasting
Solomon recognized this in his pontifications on the
"meaning of life".
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not
my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my
portion of all my labour.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour
that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit,
and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
Possessions weren’t gonna last: Solomon, or as the author describes himself " "son of David, king in Jerusalem.", in this book takes a philosophical journey discussing aspects of the human life. He is not always making statements of what he considers to be true but rather he is reflecting on what his thoughts were at different times during his meditations on life.
Here he looks at what he considered "his Bottom Line" at one point in life: "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do".
Solomon was blessed by God to accumulate and maintain great riches, but he was also given great wisdom. He strayed from the path for a season due to his fondness for many "wives and concubines" but as life draws closer to it's conclusions he realizes something over and over: " all was vanity and vexation of spirit ".
In other words, all his material and worldly "profit" was not really, truly "profit" because it was ultimately destined to be completely lost and come to nothing for his benefit.
"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we
can carry nothing out." 1 Timothy 6:7
Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him.
Though while he lives he congratulates himself–and though men praise you when you do well for yourself–he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see the light.
Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:16-20
One famous quote was often cited that said:
“He who dies with the most toys wins.”
An even more famous response was put on t-shirt once saying
He who dies with the
most toys… still dies.
Writers of the Holy scripture appear to agree with the 2nd quote more. Building the house of life on the basis of belief in the materialistic oriented lifestyle is not only foolish but downright TRAGIC.
Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall. — Matthew 7:24–27
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he
that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. I John 2:17