The world has always chased things that are out of line with what God wants His people to chase. Navigating what we should chase and not being sucked into what the world chases is always difficult. It’s our spirit combating our flesh. Here are a few things the world chases and what we should chase:
Money vs. Relationship
We find ourselves graduating college or trade school and landing a job.
Yes! We’re on the path to making good money!
But soon, the money isn’t enough so you do another job search and land a higher paying job.
Then, that job’s paycheck isn’t enough because your friend is making $100k and you’re making $80k. So, you put in the work, get that promotion, move up in the company until you make $100k as well.
But, then the $100k isn’t enough and on and on and on it goes.
Jobs bring money and money is needed for living and saving and giving.
Jobs also bring people into your life.
People who need grace, a listening ear, a crying shoulder, a simple opportunity to see Jesus in you and wonder how they can experience the peace, joy and gratitude you have even when life’s pressures are surrounding you.
As Christians, people should be our No. 1 priority.
Instead of looking for more money so you can buy more stuff, manage your money and invest in the people God’s brought into your life for a specific purpose.
Seek that purpose and the money will take care of itself.
Success vs. God’s Will
Everyone wants to be successful. The term ‘success’ is different for everyone.
I can tell you if ‘success’ to you isn’t shining the light of Christ in your heart as brightly as you can during the time you have on this earth, then you’ll never be satisfied with the level of ‘success’ you have the opportunity to obtain.
Just like the money example, the level of success won’t ever be enough.
There will always be another corporate ladder rung to conquer, another position to secure. No matter what you drive, where you live, or how many trips around the world you take, it’ll never measure up to the peace of Jesus you experience when you seek His will for your life.
When you give God full control, He’s then able to make your life into a beautiful story. Even when some parts don’t make sense, it all has a way of coming together.
Body Image vs. Body Love
I fall into this trap A LOT!
I have to stop the negative lashing I give my body and look myself hard in the mirror to find at least one thing I love about myself. It’s an exercise, so it’s not easy, but it helps me on the hard days.
The world will tell you you’re not thin enough, pretty enough, healthy enough, whatever-enough.
God tells you He knew you when you were still being formed in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5); that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14); and He has a GOOD plan and purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).
You don’t have to be a certain dress size or have bulging biceps and pecks for the Lord to use you for a heaven-sent purpose.
Gossip vs. Honesty
The world displays the latest gossip proudly in weekly and monthly glossy magazines. T.V. shows dedicated to nothing but ‘celebrity gossip’ are tuned into. Walk down a high school hallway or a corporate workspace and chances are, you’ll find some gossiping going on.
It’s become as common as discussing the weather.
We as Christians should be chasing honesty and searching for the best in people (no matter how hard it may seem to find it). I fall into the trap of complaining about people’s actions (my boyfriend can tell you), but then the Holy Spirit will hit me with this verse:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29.
I take that verse two ways:
- I should encourage others and build others up
- I should do Point No. 1 not only to the person’s face, but also behind their back to others.
Sex vs Intimacy
The world will tell you giving yourself to a person you meet in a bar, jumping into bed with him or her is normal, common, “what everyone is doing.”
But, that’s not how true intimacy is formed. That’s how you get hurt.
I’ve had many people tell me if they could still be virgins, they would choose it in a heartbeat because with that worldly lifestyle comes pain, unnecessary attachment, and baggage.
God wants you to experience true intimacy; not only with Him but with the person He has for you.
To have someone in your life that knows you physically, emotionally and spiritually on a deep level and still chooses to love you is the greatest gift God has ever given us.
To tarnish that gift with a random person, never to hear from again is wasteful and hurts you more on a spiritual level than you’ll realize the morning after.
Wait. And if you haven’t waited in the past, wait today.
True, God-given intimacy is worth it.
*Featured image: João Sá Leão