when you stop chasing the wrong things

5 Things Men Pursue That Aren’t Worth It

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I grew up watching The Brady Bunch. For years, I’ve wanted to see the show’s iconic house in person. So when I was in Los Angeles for an All Pro Dad Experience, I made the trip. The drive was only supposed to take 25 minutes, but because of L.A. traffic, the trip took an hour one way. By the time I got to the car rental drop-off afterward, I was exhausted. While I’m glad to cross it off my list, seeing the Brady Bunch house was hardly worth all the work—it felt like a waste of two hours and took more energy than I wanted to spend. But in the end, it didn’t hurt anyone.

Sadly, there are larger things we pursue that don’t produce what we hope for. We go after them, thinking they’ll give us “the good life,” but ultimately they fall short and leave us feeling empty. When you stop chasing the wrong things, life becomes a lot richer. Here are 5 things men pursue that aren’t worth it.

1. Approval From the Wrong People

We will go out of our way to win the approval of people whose opinions shouldn’t matter to us. Meanwhile, the people who should be most important to us—our wives, kids, perhaps God—often get our leftovers. Sometimes, they get even worse.

2. Stuff

There’s nothing wrong with having nice things. The problem is when we think having something will make us feel fulfilled. Purchasing things excites us temporarily, but eventually, what we buy loses its luster. Then we have to purchase the next thing. And eventually, we find ourselves in debt. It’s better to appreciate and be grateful for what we already possess.

3. Status

Society places value on certain careers: medicine, law, banking, sales… So many of us try to fit into those fields, regardless of our talents. We do jobs we don’t really like or aren’t good at because these jobs give us status and money. And then we’re surprised when we end up miserable. God gives each of us talents and when we use them to serve Him and others, we feel alive. Our passions are ignited and our hearts are full. But when we pursue status, something will always be missing.

4. Pleasure

There is nothing wrong with having experiences that involve pleasure. The problem is when we make that the main pursuit of our lives. It leaves us feeling empty and unsatisfied. Sometimes it even leads to moral bankruptcy and an unhealthy focus on ourselves.

5. Power

The amount of power people have should be directly proportionate to their humility.

Men who seek power tend to have the biggest insecurities. It’s unhealthy and makes a soul more corrupt. Having power means having a responsibility to serve those less powerful. The amount of power people have should be directly proportionate to their humility. Otherwise they are destined for a legacy of pain and regret. Power shouldn’t be something we pursue but something we receive with reservation and meekness.

Is there a worthwhile pursuit?

Yes. Jesus once encountered a rich young ruler. He had everything we’ve listed—wealth, access to pleasure, status, the approval of others, and power. However, he ran to Jesus and even fell to his knees to ask what he was missing. Somehow, despite having all that, he was left wanting more. At best, the pursuit of these things leaves us unfulfilled. At worst, it can cause serious wounds for us and those closest to us.

Jesus says he came to give us life to the full (John 10:10). He instructs the rich young ruler to sell everything and follow him. Pursuing Jesus and having a relationship with him is what gives us life to the full. Unfortunately, the rich young ruler didn’t want to sell everything, so he walked away sad. What will you do?

Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: 5 Prayers for the Overwhelmed Mom.

Sound off: Finish the next sentence. When you stop chasing the wrong things…

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some things your friends really care about that you don’t think are that important?”