You must give up short-term gratification for long-term fulfilment. Paul bottom-lines his life and ministry in this verse: ‘That I have not run in vain or laboured in vain.’ Nothing is more important in life than the choices you make.
The Bible says, ‘Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom’ (Genesis 13:12 NLT), and for a while he prospered. But in the end, everything he worked for went up in smoke. Next we read: ‘The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you.”’ (Genesis 13:14-15 NKJV) Lot chose the wrong direction and lost. Abraham chose the right direction and won.
Choices! Choices! Choices! When it comes to choosing, make a habit of asking yourself, ‘How will this choice affect my character, my sense of self-respect, and my confidence when I approach God in prayer? How will it affect my influence and respect with other people? How will it affect my family, and those who are following in my footsteps?’
The Bible gives us the answer: ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.’ (Hebrews 12:1–2 NLT)