We are all going to die from something. Every day we read some new report of a food or substance that is linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes or the like. I have been known to roll my eyes because we all know something is going to kill us. Our earthly bodies aren’t meant to live forever. Our days are numbered, yet how we live those days is up to us.
Verse 4 spoke to me today. “Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.” Right living is what the Bible says will save us from death. The death Solomon means is a permanent death that keeps us from our eternity with God. He was wise beyond his own time for Jesus had not come yet. But he is clear, we can’t buy our salvation. The wealth we have accumulated on earth will not be what saves us from death or eternity with God.
You’ve also heard people say, “I can’t take it with me” when it comes to their riches and possessions. It’s true. The stuff we accumulate here in this life is for our enjoyment in the here and now. Our eternity and life with God to come won’t depend on the “stuff” we deem so important now.
It’s hard to imagine leaving everything behind, isn’t it? If you have ever done any downsizing, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of the “stuff” you have treasured for years. Having moved abroad, we got rid of a lot of the material possessions we had accumulated. For the most part, I have not missed a single thing (except maybe our comfortable couch and a corkboard). On the other hand, I look around and wonder why I still have held on to so many other things. Why did I think they were so important?
How would you define “living right?” For me, it means being true to God, living faithfully, being devoted to God’s plan for my life. When I can look back at my day and be confident that God would be pleased with me, that’s living “right.”
Looking for ways to draw nearer to God is also important. When our focus is on that, it is less on what we have around us. Our wealth should be used to further the kingdom and not only set aside for a rainy day or to make our own life more comfortable. God will honor that kind of attitude.
Are you a good steward with what you have been given? This can include your wealth, your “stuff”, and also your faith. Take some time today to think about your priorities in life.
Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me when I focus too much on possessions. Help me to keep all of that in perspective of the bigger picture. You have great plans for me, and I want to be sure I am clear on that. Help me focus on what I need to do to move me closer to that ideal. I look forward to helping others see you through my own generosity. May my gratefulness overflow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.