Daily Encouragement: Day 289

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth


The responsibilities and pressures of this world clamor for our attention and tend to squeeze out our inner lives and starve our souls. When this happens, we lose sight of the things that really matter and focus on the things that are passing away. Our value systems become confused when we invest more of our thought and concern in things that are doomed to disappear than in that which will endure forever.

The apostle John warns us of this when he writes, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17). James adds, “Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). And Jesus admonishes those who are more concerned with the opinions of men than the approval of God, saying, “That which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). These are indeed strong words, but we would be foolish to disregard them.

As Augustine wrote, we must care for our bodies as though we were going to live forever, but we must care for our souls as if we were going to die tomorrow.

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