Wrong Focus Leads to Wrong Destination
A rich man’s wealth is his fortified city; the poverty of the poor is their destruction. The labor of the righteous leads to life; the activity of the wicked leads to sin. The one who follows instruction is on the path to life, but the one who rejects correction goes astray. Prov 10:15-17 (HCSB)
In this passage, Solomon tells his son that there can be many misunderstandings that can derail your life. When the object of our desires becomes the focal point of our life, we lose sight of what is most important – God’s will, ways, and wisdom. The Apostle James, the brother of Jesus shares the wisdom of this proverb or wise saying when he wrote:
The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation; but the one who is rich [should boast] in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a flower of the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities. James 1:9-11 (HCSB)
Coveting wealth will become an obstacle that blocks our vision upon what is truly important. Coveting wealth leads to obsession – for the rich, to protect and expand their prestige and power; for the poor, to believe it can buy freedom. Sadly, we measure wealth by the world’s value system based upon “covetousness or demand” for possessions and property, not by the relationships we hold dear with others and with God. Sadly, far too often covetous people will freely exchange relationships for possessions and property!
However, God is the great equalizer: He will humble us to regain our focus upon the eternal value of what we declare is most valuable. God declares it is not our wealth he delights in, but how and why we live our life before others each day God blesses us with. God is not interested in our bank accounts nor our estates and flashy, luxurious lifestyle, but he is focused upon our hearts.
In the end, in God’s economy it is not the worth of your stocks that pleases him, but the stock God places upon the value of your heart. Before you tally the worth of your 401K or credit scores, STOP and check 777 retirement plan and realize you no credit standing with God outside how and why you live your life this very day. Nothing we have in the bank nor our property holdings or expensive toys or fancy club memberships please God. In fact, as Solomon says, greed and lust damage the relationships that God cherishes most. When our focus is wrong, our destination will prove to be wrong too! The next time you check the ROI factor of your life, consider the Return On Investment opportunity God offers when we focus upon right relationships.
Take a quick ROI checkup: How do you value what the Lord has allowed you to have in your life? Wealth is not evil, but the coveting of wealth is! What would happen if God humbled your lifestyle? What changes might happen in your life if God blessed you with wealth and fame? Would your relationship with family and friends and God drastically change? Remember the wisdom of Solomon and James, your focus determines your destination!
Listen, my dear brothers: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him? Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Don’t they blaspheme the noble name that you bear? James 2:5-7 (HCSB)