DON’T LOOK FOR WHAT YOU HOPE TO FIND
“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 21:21
God’s ways are higher than our ways. For instance, He says to gain life, we must be willing to lose our lives, and to receive, we should first give. His ways also teach us that those who lead are to be the first to serve and that suffering is the prerequisite for reigning. We are also taught in the Scripture that humbling ourselves leads to being exalted, and happiness is found, not in being served, but in serving others. Aren’t God and His ways wonderful? His ways are revealed in the Word of God.
Another divine and similar principle that deserves our attention is found in our Scripture. It has to do with what we are pursuing and what we will eventually find. As we read the text, we see that one who follows particular things will then find certain things. However, the interesting thing is that what he finds is not necessarily what he has been following. Notice that he follows “righteousness and mercy” and then finds “life, righteousness, and honour.” He is not looking for life and honor, yet he finds it. He finds something different from what he has been looking for. This theme is found in other places of the Bible as well. This idea is in direct contrast to what the ways of the world would recommend. The world tells us to seek life and honor, but the Bible says that we will find honor and life by pursuing other things. Remember that God’s ways are not our ways.
Here is what the world encourages men to do: “Seek life in its fullest. Make provision to do what you like and squeeze into life all that will bring you pleasure. If you want life, you must pursue it; and if you want honor, labor to acquire it. Promote yourself and put your interests first because you cannot depend on others, etc.” However, with all this self-seeking, these people are not usually finding life and meaning. Many of them are miserable and dishonorable. This is because they are pursuing the wrong things. God says that if we want to find “life, righteousness, and honour,” we need to be following “righteousness and mercy.”
This is a great lesson for us. God warns us not to always be trying to look for the things we want to find. Many have tried vigorously to find life and have only found frustration. Rather, we are to spend our days doing what is right, caring about others. In the process, we will find life.