What gives our lives meaning and value? Is it the number of accomplishments we can point to, our many possessions, or the size of our bank account? Today’s scriptures challenge us to examine what gives our lives true meaning and significance.
The writer of Ecclesiastes comes to the end of his quest to find true meaning and value in life and seems to conclude with the words he began with: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” But he goes on to the better final conclusion that fearing God and being obedient to Him are the best ways to find joy and peace in a world that often makes no sense.
Psalm 49 points to much the same conclusion but emphasizes that all people die, whether they are rich or poor – no one escapes death despite their status in life. He then encourages us not to envy the wealthy or to trust in our wealth if we have it, but to trust God for our eternal destiny. No matter what we have accumulated in life, we leave it all behind us when we leave this world.
I’m not sure when I realized that every material thing we ever own will eventually be owned by someone else, or be in a trash or ash heap somewhere, but it was a sobering thought. That concept is emphasized in Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to be generous in their giving to the Lord’s work. This sort of giving is making an eternal investment since the only things that continue on after this world are people and God’s Word.
How do we find value and meaning in our lives? These three writers all agree that God alone holds the answers and that obedience and generosity towards Him will enable us to live meaningful and joyful lives. Holding our wealth and material possessions loosely and being generous to God’s work yields peace and fulfillment in life.
Question of the Day: What are we investing our time and money in to give our lives significance and meaning? How can we feel we are making an eternal difference in this confusing and mixed-up world?
Dear Lord help us to see what has true value in our lives and to spend our time and money involving ourselves in those things. Thank You that in You we find joy and significance in our lives so that they are not meaningless, but meaningful for Your glory. Amen