This verse from Proverbs 21 caught my eye today, as it got me thinking, “What am I pursuing? What really matters to me?”
It seems to me that we are faced with a (pretty obvious) choice: Pursuing things that give provide us with long-term spiritual benefit, or seeking after selfish endeavors that only gratify us in the short-term. If I’m reading this verse correctly, then it sure seems to me that doing things God’s way leads to some nice, long-term (read: eternal) benefits that we should think twice about before casting them carelessly aside:
- Life – Naturally, our days on this earth are numbered, but as followers of Christ, we can rest in the knowledge that – upon physical death – we are ushered into eternity with the Lord. Remember, it’s called “eternal life” for a reason!
- Righteousness – Right standing with the Lord. The good thing about righteousness is that it apparently is a gift that keeps on giving: according to this verse, if you pursue righteousness, then you get even more of it in return! Therefore, righteousness must be very important to the Lord, if He continues to bestow it upon us in increasing measure.
- Honor – Recognition and favor. While we may not get the credit that we feel we may deserve in this lifetime, we can trust that the same God who superintends over all – who sees what we do in secret, as the Bible says – will also reward us openly. Will it happen now, in a material sense? I think it wise not to put my focus there, because if I start measuring God’s love for me based upon the extent to which the Lord has met material needs, then I’ll never really be satisfied. However, we can trust that the honor from the Lord is coming to us in time. Think about it: Whose opinion matters more, anyway – God’s, or some other person here on earth?
Anyway, this verse spurred me on to continue seeking after noble pursuits – the things that please the Lord – and to trust that He can always be relied upon to do His part, because He’s good and faithful that way. 🙂