“The one pursuing valueless things is in want of heart.”—PROV. 12:11.
AS Christians, we all possess valuable things of one kind or another. They might include a measure of health and strength, inborn mental abilities, or financial resources. Because we love Jehovah, we are happy to use those things in his service and thus respond to the inspired exhortation: “Honor Jehovah with your valuable things.”—Prov. 3:9.
On the other hand, the Bible also speaks of valueless things and warns against wasting our resources in pursuit of them. In this regard, consider the words of Proverbs 12:11: “The one cultivating his ground will himself be satisfied with bread, but the one pursuing valueless things is in want of heart.” It is not difficult to see how that proverb applies in a literal sense. If a man spends his time and energy working hard to support his family, he stands a good chance of achieving relative security. (1 Tim. 5:8) If, however, he wastes his resources pursuing valueless things, he demonstrates “want of heart,” a lack of balanced judgment and good motivation. Very likely, such a man will find himself in need.
What, though, if we apply the principle of the proverb to our worship? Then we see that a Christian who diligently and faithfully serves Jehovah enjoys real security. He can be confident of God’s blessing now and has an unshakable hope for the future. (Matt. 6:33; 1 Tim. 4:10) However, a Christian who is distracted by valueless things puts his relationship with Jehovah and his prospects for everlasting life in danger. How can we avoid that? We have to discern the things in our lives that are “valueless” and cultivate a determination to reject them.—Read Titus 2:11, 12.
What, then, are valueless things? In a general sense, they can be anything that distracts us from serving Jehovah whole-souled. They could, for example, include various forms of relaxation. Of course, relaxation has its place. But when we spend too much time on “fun” things at the expense of activities connected with our worship, relaxation becomes a valueless thing, adversely affecting our spiritual well-being. (Eccl. 2:24; 4:6) To avoid that, a Christian cultivates balance, carefully watching how he spends his valuable time. (Read Colossians 4:5.) There are, though, valueless things that are much more dangerous than relaxation. Among these are false gods.