What is success? Wealth, favor and authority are common markers for some. The acquisition of such things often requires a great deal of work and dedication. But frequently there is an inner void that seems unfillable in the “success.”
Solomon wrote, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). In the case of the lover of wealth, there is never enough of it. Because enough can never be acquired, how can that inner void ever be filled?
“When goods increase, they increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?” (Ecclesiastes 5:11). In this case, dependents in the form of family or employees increase along with the wealth. All this requires more of his time and devotion to what he loves. The only benefit to him, because of his misplaced affection, is to briefly see the things that cannot satisfy.
“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). The lover of wealth is a lot like a rat on a treadmill – the harder he pursues his desire, the harder still he must strive to keep from falling in the pursuit of it. Thus, the man who seeks to bless himself cannot sleep for anxiousness about his heart’s desire.
The love of wealth, favor, authority, or any other thing, will all ultimately never truly fill the inner person with peace or happiness. Solomon is a case study in this truth. The love and pursuit of virtually any good thing is only vanity – emptiness, a chasing after wind that cannot be caught.
The pursuit of any good thing can, however, be a great blessing to ourselves and those around us, if our love is not displaced. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The foundation of real success that brings peace and happiness is in having contact with and the guidance and continuous help of God!