What we prioritize as most important to us will impact our perspective, our actions, and our satisfaction.
“The things that we love tell us what we are.”Sir Thomas Acquinas
So the questions we need to be asking are: What do we love? Where do we place our value? What do we prioritize in our lives? Are we chasing after worldly things or are we chasing after something beyond?
Worldly things are what impress other people, and they are very tempting. They are what make us comfortable in our daily lives. Often we believe that if only I had __________, then I’d be happy. The blank might be money and everything it could buy, popularity, beauty, fame, recognition, career, or power. Our desire for these things leave us in a perpetual state of unhappiness as we continue to chase what we don’t have. Our hunger for these things is also insatiable. Obtaining some is never enough to maintain our happiness. If a little is good, more is always better. How much is enough? The things of this world don’t satisfy, they always leave us wanting. When we are striving after these things where is our focus? It is solely on ourselves. What we have, what we’re missing, and what we need. This is why we will continue to be pursuing more, but never be satisfied. The closer we are to the world the further we are from God because our pride and self-reliance tell us we don’t need God.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.John 1:10
Further, worldly things are often outside of our control. This causes us to feel dissatisfied and defeated when we are unable to obtain our goals. We begin to feel like victims of the world around us, endlessly chasing the unattainable.
Spiritual things are what impresses God. The desires of God are in direct contradiction to the desires of the world. It turns everything upside down. God’s values are not meant to make us comfortable in our daily lives. In fact, we are promised that they will often bring suffering.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.John 15: 18-19
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33John 16:33
The things of the world may bring short-term happiness, but the fruit of the spirit brings happiness in the life to come. If we are living for eternal life it's easier to sacrifice the comforts of the world today. God values generosity, kindness, humility, truth, peace, sacrifice, love, wisdom, honesty, and faith. Contrary to the things of the world, we have complete control over expressing these qualities. These things can only come from within. When you choose to pursue these qualities, you stop focusing on what you don't have. Instead, you start paying attention to the people around you. You begin looking for opportunities to give, to love, to make a difference. The goal to have others see Jesus through you is attainable and it brings satisfaction. It also provides us hope in a time a time that others may see as hopeless.
What are the things you love? What goal are you aiming for?