The world tells us to chase money, fame and “success.”
Celebrity homes, cars and hobbies are often center stage in the entertainment press, sparking a strange sense of jealousy among the masses. Meanwhile, social media is focused on selfies and the quest to bring attention to ourselves.
All of this sparks a deep temptation among too many of us to seek out temporary pleasures and rewards. Unfortunately, too many of us miss the mark when it comes to where our focus should be; rather that looking to God for guidance, we end up setting fruitless end goals (i.e. making as much money as possible or attracting as many “likes” on social as we can).
Here’s why this matters (listen to today’s devotion or keep reading below):
Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with being successful, but our true motivation matters. What is our focus? What drives us?
When we get our goals confused, that’s when we often find ourselves in a bit of trouble. Proverbs 23:12 (NIV) tells us to stick to knowledge and God rather than temporary whims: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”
And it doesn’t end there. Wealth — the issue that holds perhaps the most power to sway people away from God’s path — is also mentioned. Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV) reads:
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Solomon warns readers not to let their hearts “envy sinners” and to “always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.” We’re also promised that there’s “future hope” for us.
It’s easy to get trapped in a comparison game and to let jealousy creep in, but if we stay focused on God’s plan for our lives we’re on a more solid footing.
Wisdom, which comes from God, is what we need most.
So, rather than following the world’s definition of success, we should pursue God’s path for eternal success. I’ll leave you with Proverbs 23:20-21 (NIV):
“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”