Pursue What Matters


Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.

For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.

In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

James 1:9-11

In the book of James, the Holy Spirit tells us, “the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.”

Not that long ago I met with a man whose daughter had been tragically killed in a car accident.

He was, from every outside measure, highly successful. He had always been confident in our conversations. He had risen up in his company to a place of great importance, his family was well cared for financially.

But in the blink of an eye, everything had been taken from him.

When I met with him and his wife just days after the accident, his countenance had changed dramatically. He was a completely different person—humble, searching for answers, and questioning everything. A “shell of his former self” is how we describe it.

His lasting thought, “I didn’t even get to see her that day because I chose to work late. I was so busy chasing the world I missed my opportunity to say good-bye when she left the house and now it’s too late.”

Not many of us will experience the sudden loss of a child in this fashion and I would wish it upon no one. But make no mistake, each of us will, at some point, have our entire world taken us from us.

We will all reach the end of our time on this earth.

And when we do, all will fade away except those works that were built on the foundation of Christ.

It is easy to chase this world—especially when you see some success in taking hold of it.

But resist the temptation. Do not waste your life pursuing riches or power or fame or you will fade away, even as you go about your business.

Pursue Christ first and always.

The great deception of our world is to read exhortations or warnings to the rich and believe they only apply to someone else—”those people” who are rich. But if you have food and shelter and furniture and clothing and a phone, you are rich and this verse is for you. Don’t discount its meaning in your life.


Heavenly Father, thank you for your goodness. Help me remember that power and riches are not what is important. May I pursue you and a life according to your will. Amen.