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Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim. 6:9–10)

Food for Thought

A GPS is a great thing to have; I don’t know how we all used to get from A to B without it. But here’s the catch: if you enter the wrong destination, then all of the steps along the way will be wrong as well.

Life works the same way. If we select the wrong life goals, we will very likely go through life making decision after decision on a road that is leading us precisely to the wrong place. Most people are able to articulate some of their life goals, and on the surface these goals seem desirable. Let me list just a few of the life goals that are typically expressed:

  1. Become a successful ___________.
  2. Achieve comfort and security. (Usually one of the core benefits of becoming successful.)
  3. Become wealthy. Sure, money isn’t everything, but it can buy almost anything.
  4. Become famous.
  5. Be happy. It’s usually what people hope for when they achieve their other goals of comfort, wealth, success, or fame. It might be considered a goal, but it is more often a derivative of all of the other choices people make in life.

On the surface most of these are attractive aspirations. We live in a culture that rewards the successful, envies the wealthy, and affirms the ambitious. But what happens when we enter destinations like these into the GPS of our lives? Our driving directions might include…

  • Look out for number one.
  • Stay on the highway at all costs.
  • Neglect your family and friends when the demands of success require it.
  • Don’t stop to help people broken down at the side of the road—They will just distract you.
  • Spend your money to get all the things you want because you’ve earned them.
  • Turn off your (annoying and inconvenient) moral compass.

We have all seen the wreckage in the lives of people who have entered the wrong destination and then single-mindedly pursued it without regard to any of the warning signs or collateral damage. Paul made the point that wealth—and we might add fame, success, and even happiness—are illusory goals and that the ardent pursuit of them is at best harmful and at worst catastrophic, leading us away from God and into ruin. But if we keep reading, Paul went on to tell Timothy what he should pursue instead: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11, emphasis mine).

Question for Reflection

What do you most want to achieve with your life? How has that influenced your decisions?


Father, please reveal the right goal for my life and help me make good decisions based on your goal for me. Thank you for giving real and fulfilling purpose to my life.

Unfinished: Believing is Only the Beginning. Copyright © 2013 by World Vision.

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