Martin Luther famously stated “Sin is the self bending in on the self.” A fruitless cycle we find ourselves in, much like a dog chasing its own tail. When “self” is the motivation and goal, we run and run and only ever end up with something less than what we’re after.
This is exactly the problem. We chase so many things for our own personal gain, and if/when we finally get them, it doesn’t actually fulfill us. Even if we think we’ve arrived and reached that long pursued goal, it doesn’t last long as something newer and shinier lies along the horizon.
Proverbs 3 is one of my absolute favorite passages. Chock full of wisdom, it is a completely counter-intuitive guide to getting true fulfillment. The trick is, it’s not about giving up “the chase”. Rather, where do we direct our passion and drive in our chasing. Look at the list in the first column of the table. These are some of the things I chase:
Ultimately, this disobedience is my pursuit of myself.
When I indulge in these self-absorbed mindsets, I usually end up feeling the things in the second column. None of those are things I want. But they are what I get when I chase my own tail. If I don’t catch it, it was a waste of time. If I do catch it, it still doesn’t provide the fulfillment I’m seeking. My freedom, joy, and peace shrivel and die.
The solution is to make the conscious decision to chase Jesus.
This means focusing on him, praying to him, and constantly asking him for help. It means repenting, forgiving, and serving like he told us to. It means believing he is more satisfying than anything else I could pursue; enjoying him and his amazing love for me.
How about you, what are you chasing? Are there things you’re pursuing above Jesus?