Take the Highway, Not the Back Road (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 343)
Philippians 3:7 (NLT)
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
You have probably heard stories before of people who seemed to have it all. They had money, power, status, big homes, fine cars, expensive clothing and jewelry, and the ability to get anything and everything they wanted. They were well known, in large part because of what they owned, if not for what they did. But at the end of their lives or at certain times during their lives, those who tell stories will say that on the inside everything was falling apart, they lacked a life of meaning, they felt empty — a deep hole in the soul.
You can tell a lot about one’s life by looking at the things they spend their money and time on. If you spend all your money, time, talent, and resources on getting more for yourselves, you are going to be a very miserable person. Your calendar, to-do list, or daily agenda might reveal a lot about what matters the most to you. If you are always attempting to use your money to get more instead of giving more, then that shows where your heart is because wherever you put your money, that’s where you put your heart.
In Philippians 3:7, we see a switch in Paul’s mentality and attitude. He said, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.” Life is not about things. It is about learning to serve, give, and love. It is about people. Jesus came to earth not to establish his kingdom but to save people. People are most important to God and they should be to us as well. An accumulation of things is a byproduct of doing something worthwhile for the benefit of other people. It’s the back road, not a highway.
All people enter and exit the world in the same way no matter how much we have. If at the end of your life, all you have to show for your existence is a house or garage full of stuff, then you have entirely missed the point of what really living means. It means nothing to accumulate fine possessions but be lonely, empty, and unhappy. The happiest people in the world are not those who get, but those who give. The most fulfilled people in the world are those who know who and what matters most.
When you choose to be generous with your money, time, talent, energy and resources, you are revealing a heart that is most like God’s. You’re saying that reflecting God’s attitude of grace and giving is more important than getting a lot of things for yourself. You are saying that the promise of true happiness found in the blessing of giving is more important to you. What matters most is God and people and fulfilling our place in serving them. You break free from the stronghold of greed and materialism by choosing to be benevolent because generosity is the currency of heaven on earth.
“The most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything, but only in giving.”
— Henry Drummond