What are you pursuing? What are most people seeking in this life? When you look at the lives of those around you, why do most people do what they do? In America, you may hear the phrase ‘keeping up with the Jonses’ as a term to illustrate the constant pursuit of getting the next new thing that makes you appear just as good as your neighbor. Whether it is posting your latest conquest on Facebook, keeping your yard looking perfect, kids with the best report card, having a new vehicle in the driveway, or any number of other achievements for which you can compare yourself to others. Behind this, the motive may be to make as much money as possible to promote this lifestyle. Looking at what we see in commercials and the media would seem to support this. Is this what we were made for? Just to appear better than most of our neighbors by our things and accomplishments?
I heard a quote by Ravi Zacharias some time ago which summarized the end pursuit of three different empires. He said the end goal of the Hebrews was light, the pursuit of the Greeks was knowledge, and for the Romans it was glory. Throughout scripture, especially the Old Testament, there is often a contrast between darkness and light. The Greeks thought amassing knowledge of the natural world would give them the answers they sought. The Romans fought to be strong and powerful to bring glory to themselves and the city that was not built in a day. While these may be strong motivators, what is the end goal of each…to appease our own selfish desires, or for a better purpose? Where does God fit into this picture?
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
The apostle Paul summarizes these pursuits in this one verse and connects them all in Christ. He is the light of the world. Of all of us, he is the one deserving any glory. The knowledge of the savior of the world brings a greater transformation than any other truth we may find. In fact, all pursuit of truth should lead us to Him. In a world full of lies and half-truths, it is refreshing to be grounded in the truth, which Christ reveals in all we do.
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:37
Who’s glory am I seeking, my own or God’s? What knowledge is most beneficial to me and others? Does my life reflect more of the light from God or the darkness found deep within my selfish heart? While many of these pursuits can have the appearance of being good intentioned to those around us, even we may not always even know why we are chasing after some of these things. Often, only God knows the true nature of our hearts and can reveal that to us and others. In scripture, Jesus often makes statements that get to the heart of why those around him are doing what they do. If you struggle with this, simply ask him to reveal your true motives. The truth found in Christ does this time and again when we encounter him. May our true motives be made known to us and may we seek to honor God in all we do. It is not always easy, but it definitely produces joy that last longer than any other accomplishment or prize that we may attain in this life.
Strength and Courage in Christ,