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The Vanities Of Life   
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“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” – Philippians 2:16 (KJV).

Discipline, diligence, knowledge, people skills, service, vigilance, righteousness (integrity), wisdom and so forth are great virtues. These virtues are ingredients to success. It has been said that for a person “to succeed in life means hardwork, sacrifice, focus and disciplined lifestyle. You must be prepared to serve the society in which you live in and have a good interpersonal skill”.

This advice is profound but not absolutely true. There are absolutes in life. No matter your race, colour, creed or where on earth you find yourself there are always absolute (true) principles. One of such absolutes is “all that glitters are not gold”. This proverb means that the attractive eternal appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature.

Many things in this life appear good in the eyes of majority of people. Such things are generally accepted as the standards for living. However, such so-called standards are usually not the truth. For instance, the fact that majority of the electorates of any country have voted for a particular political party may not mean that they have made a right choice. Majority is mostly wrong! No wonder many life-transformers were unpopular in their generations. Popularity does not denote properness. Similarly, hardwork, ethical values, integrity, law and order, morality, and wisdom are not necessarily good. Ask King Solomon of immeasurable wisdom. The central theme of his book of Ecclesiastes is vanity. He teaches that discovery and research, better education, greater wisdom and knowledge, hard work, greatness, pleasure, success and so forth may be vanity- foolishness or “chasing the wind”.

King Solomon of old is not alone. Indeed, Apostle Paul also testified in chapter three his book to the Philippians that some things he used to be proud of were really worthless-“dung”. They include self-confidence, ritual observations, nationality, creed, race, nobility, legalistic righteousness, sincerity, and obedience to rules and regulations. “But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile now I’ve thrown them all away,” says Apostle Paul.
There is a Psalm or song that goes like this, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep”. The lesson is that builders and watchmen without depending on and trusting God build and watch in vain.

Besides, hard work outside God only leads to sorrow! For King David, vain things of this life include value or desire for honours, riches, and pleasures, if they are obtained outside God. Dear reader, without Jesus you can do nothing! This means that anything you do outside Jesus is nothing (vain) in absolute terms. Get connected!
Source: Richard Obeng Mensah, author of Persecutions are Promotions. [email protected]/www.richard-obeng-mensah.blogspot.com

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