he Whole Duty of Man
Psalms 39:4-6 “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
It’s another day.
The fascinating thing about the written word is that it is extremely difficult to express emotion in it. Words can produce an emotional response, but unlike the spoken word that has inflection, facial expressions, and gestures attached, we are on our own for how we interpret words that are written down. That’s what makes electronic communication so dangerous, as we all have probably experienced.
It appears to me that as you read the opening line of this devotional, you chose to attach an emotion to it. You may have been completely bummed out by yesterday, so you read the words “It’s another day” with dread as you anticipate more of the same.
You may have had a great day yesterday, so you read those three words with enthusiasm.
You may be recovering from a bad day and have read those words with hope.
You may have very little hope so you read those words with a “same old, same old” philosophy of life.
All I said was, “It’s another day.” Any emotion you experienced as a result of reading those words was your choice, and is probably the result of your current perspective on life.
Some people view life as a necessary evil that we must endure. Some may view this life as all that there is, so they seek to experience everything it has to offer. Others may view life as a preparation for eternity. How we choose to view life determines the emotional attachments we express to even simple phrases like “it’s another day.”
To help with that issue, go back and read today’s Scripture passage again. I’ll wait……..(insert Final Jeopardy theme music)
Do you see it? We need to adopt God’s perspective on this life – it’s too short to waste on anything meaningless.
- How much of the turmoil we are experiencing is of our own making because we are pursuing what is not permanent?
- How many of the possessions we have accumulated have brought us any sense of deep inner joy and contentment?
- What successes have truly satisfied our need for validation?
- What investments of time, energy, or resources have paid any kind of lasting dividends?
- Will today be another day of turmoil because we are striving after that which only God can provide?
This might be a great time to start reading about Solomon’s pursuit of the meaningless in Ecclesiastes. But in case you don’t have time because of all the other pursuits that occupy your time, let me take you to the end of the book where the wise King draws his conclusion.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Don’t waste your life on what is meaningless.
Choose not to suffer from the self-inflicted disease of turmoilitis.
Choose to live this day, and every day, according to God’s design and purpose.
It is the whole duty of man.