Reflecting on the Death of Steve Jobs

The death of a brilliant man (or woman) is always a difficult pill to swallow. For many, Steve Jobs changed the way they viewed life; for others, he changed the way they interacted with it. The man made amazing and beautiful things. He gave us the first fully computer animated feature film (Toy Story). His ideas have shaped the way we interact with our world and with one another. But the man, any man, is more than simply the sum of all his accomplishments, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – (Luke 12:15) 

I don’t want to be insensitive to the grief that so many people feel over the death of Steve Jobs. Their pain is real and his death is truly a loss. But for those of you who are still reading I simply want to suggest that our grief and compassion is incomplete, even shallow, if it only focuses on the treasures that rust and not on the state of a man’s soul before God. Jared Wilson’s thoughts on this are sober and helpful…

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 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.

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About Justin Wheeler

Justin Wheeler is the preaching pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Wylie, TX. He is married to Leigh and has three children.
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2 Responses to Reflecting on the Death of Steve Jobs

  1. craig says:

    It is truly a question of where do we lay up our treasures while on this pilgrims trip, here on earth or forward ahead in heaven?

  2. Motorman says:

    One thing that we often miss is that we have perspectives as believers [or should] that ground us in the eternal hopes, and not in the daily comforts. People like SJ have a vision of useful, practical and profitable. He truly improved our lives and made our temporalness a little more comfortable.
    On the other hand, our eternal needs have been neglected, we have grown a little less dependent and more comfortable to be apart from our creator.
    As a father, I struggle to make sense of this to my children. If we look to eternal things, and spend our efforts to help our children and others see their value, then we find ourselves a little less enraptured with the world, and more in awe of His eternal power and nature.
    Steve was incredible. I cannot envision Apple surviving without him. And such are the ways of men, the temporal glory of the flower is the field. Yet as Christians, do we desire an eternal glory, one that will never fade?
    God help us to see, desire and acquire eternal glory for the creature that brings eternal righteous glory to the Creator.

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