“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
–Paul the Apostle (Romans 12:2)
We all have a list of things we value in life. A simple list might include our families, an education, hard honest work, and being upright citizens. These are certainly good things to value. But then there are things that we value in life that may need some re-evaluation—things that don’t necessarily line up with God. A lot of what our society values in general isn’t necessarily what God has in mind for those who believe in and follow after Him. And we have to be aware of that. The things that heaven values can greatly differ from what the world values. And if we’re not discerning, we’ll simply fall prey to the dictates of our society. Here a few things that our society values but don’t necessarily square up with God.
Many people want to be known as “ambitious.” It says you want to do something with your life. And indeed, ambition is important. Without ambition, you’ll end up with a lack of direction in life and a lack of inspiration to keep going. But much of our society promotes the pursuit of personal ambition—what people want to personally achieve and accomplish for their lives. And that might include a certain status in society or a certain level of fame and renown or to simply just make it to the top of their career ladder. But heaven values something quite different: godly ambition. This is ambition that pursues the things of God such as His mission to make disciples of all nations.
Magazine covers. Television ads. Billboards. It’s not hard to see what they’re promoting: physical beauty. And that’s because our society highly values physical beauty. A whole range of products are sold simply to cater to this idea such as weight loss/gain supplements, revitalizing creams, and the latest fashion wear. There’s certainly value in physical training and living a healthy lifestyle. It enables you to be at your physical best as you serve God’s kingdom. But physical beauty as the end goal isn’t too important in the kingdom of heaven. More important to God is inner beauty where we adopt the ways and values of Christ—things like genuine love, sacrificial service, and God-honoring behavior.
Wealth and Possessions
There’s a popular saying that goes, “Money makes the world go ‘round.” Whether the statement is true or not, it does say something. It tells us that money is important. And, indeed, it is important. We make our daily transactions in common currency. But it’s not as important as some people think. For some, the accumulation of wealth and possessions is an important goal in life. And our society once again puts a high emphasis on luxury. Or at the very least, having material stuff. But God tells us that wealth and possessions are only temporary things on earth. Instead, we should be emphasizing the accumulation of heavenly riches.
Again, if we’re not careful, we’ll fall prey to the dictates of society. We’ll succumb to having society shape who we are rather than having Christ and His ways do so. We’ll care about earthly things more than we should and we’ll care about the things of God less than we should. It’s interesting to find that Jesus—our Lord and Savior—didn’t place much emphasis on personal ambition, physical beauty, or wealth. Should we not as well?