I want you to think about this question: How important is your relationship with God? Many of us would answer that it is very important, but our lives tell another story. We tend to pursue things that are temporary rather that those that are eternal. Consider what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:7-9:
I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith (NLT).
Don’t get me wrong, there is importance to the everyday tasks of life. Jobs and money are necessities for life, and it is not God’s desire for us to retreat from the world in order to seclude and shield ourselves from the world around us. God wants us to be a part of the world, because when we live differently in the world people begin to change.
I believe Paul wants us to understand that things of this world are not evil or even unimportant. Your job and your family are very important to your life, so we shouldn’t look at what Paul wrote as a command to get rid of everything that we hold dear. Paul is instead making a comparison. Everything in life, regardless of how wonderful or good it is, cannot measure up to a relationship with God. Everything in our lives, when compared to God, is trash.
Our lives are not made full and complete because we have the perfect job or the perfect family. Our lives are made complete because we have a relationship with God. A person who has nothing except a relationship with God is able to be far more content with life than a person who has everything except a relationship with God.
Here is the irony of it all, it is when we value our relationship with God above all else that we really begin to cherish the things in this life as the blessings they really are. That is when these things are finally able to really enhance our lives.
On the other hand, when our lives revolve around the things of our lives rather than around God we are never satisfied with what we have. There is always something else out there, the one thing that just might complete our lives and make us happy. As a result, the things of this world are unable to really bless our lives, because they become a vivid reminder that something is missing from our lives.
We were created for a purpose, and ultimately that purpose is to have a relationship with God. When we have this relationship at the center of our lives, our lives begin to take on a whole new outlook. No longer do we seek to find contentment and happiness in the things of this world, rather we discover contentment and joy in our relationship with God. When that happens we are able to join with the apostle Paul and say; Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.