The Search for Achievement - Gospel in Life

The Search for Achievement

Tim Keller |Β  September 27, 1998

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  • Purpose and Calling
  • Work & Faith
Ecclesiastes 2:17-26
RS 93-3

Ecclesiastes 2:17–26, 4:4–8

Ecclesiastes is a book in the Bible that looks at the idea of practical secularism. This view, common in our world today, questions the existence and intentions of God, and whether there’s life after death. It examines different ways people try to find purpose in life, like fighting for a cause or chasing after pleasure and beauty, but concludes that these efforts are heavy and ultimately pointless. The book also studies the idea of finding meaning in work and accomplishments, but reaches the conclusion that a life focused only on work is empty. This calls for a deeper investigation into what truly matters in life.

1. A life of work is not worth it

Work often fails to bring real satisfaction, appreciation, and impact. Instead, it can cause pain, sadness, and worry that sucks away our energy. A book written in 1972 cleverly discusses the hard truth that work can’t always satisfy our passions and talents. Trying to find recognition and success in work can harm our personal relationships and lead to feelings of emptiness and discontent.

2. Why it’s not worth it

Feelings of dissatisfaction and damage related to work often come from misplaced identity and a deep inner restlessness. We can use our work as a way to prove our worth, which can lead to working too much and eventually burning out. The only way to find real peace and rest, which can help with these problems, is in God. This provides a break from the constant struggle for self-worth.

3. What is worth it

A fulfilling life is a gift from God, not something we can achieve through our own efforts. The joy God takes in us, made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, brings peace to our efforts and lets us work for the sheer joy of it, not for personal gain. This understanding leads to a balanced life filled with lasting accomplishments and satisfaction.



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