by Neil Anderson
1 Timothy 6:9
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction
In his book The Sensation of Being Somebody , Maurice Wagner expresses a false belief in simple equations we tend to accept. He says we mistakenly think that good appearance plus the admiration it brings equals a whole person. Or we feel that star performance plus accomplishments equals a whole person. Or we believe that a certain amount of status plus the recognition we accumulate equals a whole person. Not so. These equations are no more correct than two plus two equals six. Wagner says: “Try as we might by our appearance, performance, or social status to find self-verification for a sense of being somebody, we always come short of satisfaction. Whatever pinnacle of self-identity we achieve soon crumbles under the pressure of hostile rejection or criticism, introspection or guilt, fear or anxiety. We cannot do anything to qualify for the by-product of being loved unconditionally and voluntarily” (Maurice Wagner, The Sensation of Being Somebody , Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975, p. 163).
If these equations could work for anyone, they would have worked for King Solomon. He was the king of Israel during the greatest years in her history. If a meaningful life is the result of appearance, admiration, performance, accomplishments, status, or recognition, Solomon would have been the most together man who ever lived.
But God also gave the king an extra dose of wisdom to interpret his achievements. What was his commentary on it all? “Meaningless! Meaningless! . . . Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 NIV ). Take the advice of the wise king: All the stuff and status you can acquire don’t add up to personal wholeness. Millions of people climb those ladders to success, only to discover when they reach the top that they are leaning against the wrong wall! The only identity equation that works in God’s kingdom is you plus Christ equals wholeness and meaning.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I affirm that nothing in this world can make me more complete than I already am in Christ.