Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways. (Psalm 119:37)
This verse stopped me in my tracks. How often am I looking to “worthless” things instead of looking to Christ?
Unfortunately, a lot more often than I would like to admit.
I am a stay-at-home mom with two little girls. For me, it’s so hard to get a few minutes to myself throughout the day. Yet, what I choose to do in those few minutes is usually not life-giving. I find myself mindlessly scrolling through my phone, or thinking about the tantrum that my daughter just threw at the store (it was epic!), or getting lost in concerns and worries that are not grounded in truth.
This verse calls me to action, to turn away from worthless things and look to him.
Discern Your “Worthless Things”
I’m not saying that looking at your phone is bad or that relaxing by watching a TV show is sinful. These activities can be restful—assuming we avoid content that is blatantly sinful. But if we choose to focus on these things (even the best of them) with the majority of free moments we are given, the results will not be life-giving. When I make these choices, I often feel more tired, on-edge, and less mindful of ways that I can love others. Overall, worthless things produce a lack of joy and draw us away from better pursuits.
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways. (Ps. 119:37)
So how do I know when my choices are worthless? My “Type A” personality would love to give you a list of worthless activities that you could explore to see if any of them apply, but I can’t do that here. This requires personal discernment and a searching of your heart. One activity might be worthless for one person and life-giving for another.
So we must examine how we spend our time and what subject matter consumes our thoughts. Write these down for a couple of days to notice any patterns. Then think about those things in light of eternity. Is what you’re spending your time on drawing you closer to Jesus, the giver of life? You may find that certain thoughts or an activity you are pursuing are actually worthless.
Turn to Jesus for Life
So many places in Scripture describe Christ as the giver of life. Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” John 5:35 says, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Likewise, 1 John 5:12 teaches, “Whoever has the Son has life…”
God is all-sufficient. He is everything I need and so much more. Too often I believe that he is not enough, that if I look on my phone and see what my friends have been up to lately, or watch a show on Netflix™, that these activities will somehow recharge me to bring him glory with the rest of my day.
But what else could I possibly need than the reminder that Christ gives me life? God sent his only Son to die for me, for my sins, and because Christ rose again I now have this promise of new life with him for eternity. I have a hope that will not perish, that will not fade no matter my circumstances. These truths are worth spending time on and are worth my thoughts.
Five Suggestions for Life-Giving Pursuits
Here are some practical ways that we can turn away from the worthless things we are looking to, whatever they may be, and instead look to Jesus.
1. Read through one chapter of the Bible. Sometimes I’ll choose a book that I want to go through and when I get a chance, I’ll read one chapter at a time. Reading one chapter at a time helps me to dive into the content of that book of the Bible, rather than jumping around to different books each time, and it also helps me to stay consistent with my Bible reading. It’s much easier to pick up my Bible and read it if I know where I’m turning.
2. Post Scripture cards throughout your home or work space. Then, when you have a free moment remind yourself of truth and work on memorizing it. Post them in places you’ll see them the most, like above the kitchen sink, on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror, on your desk or dashboard, or in the pantry next to your secret stash of chocolate.
3. Listen to a sermon. Play sermons from your home church that you missed, or look up a sermon from one of your favorite pastors. Listening to a sermon on the way to work or on your way home is a great time investment.
4. Get involved with other believers. For stay-at-home moms or people with free evenings, this might be a mid-week Bible study. For others, it could be going through a Bible study with a co-worker during your lunch break, or gathering in the evenings.
5. Play worship music. This has been a game changer for me! Not only does it bring me back to Jesus, but my girls love it, and it brings peace to our house.
You will never regret leaning into the One who is fully worth all your time and energy. Together, let’s commit to discerning our “worthless things,” to turning our eyes from them, and to finding life in Christ through life-giving, better pursuits.
- Choosing Between the Good and the Better
- Three Reasons Why God’s Word Will Always Be the Next Best Thing
- Uncle Screwtape’s Advanced Strategies against Gospel Growth