The Misery of Worldly Gain

Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. -Colossians 3:5

A man who has power over extensive empires may be supposed, in some measure, to have gained the whole world. Take, for instance, Alexander; I cannot bring you a fairer specimen of a man having possession of the whole world than he. He could say of his dominions, that although they had their limits, he did not know the nations who were able to bound his territories…Alexander, I summon thee! What thinkest thou: is it worth much to gain the world? Is its sceptre the wand of happiness? Is its crown the security of joy? See Alexander’s tears! he weeps! Yes, he weeps for another world to conquer! Ambition is insatiable! the gain of the whole world is not enough. Surely to become a universal monarch, is to make one’s self universally miserable.

I do not think any man who has any power over his fellow-creatures will deny that it is gratifying to his fallen nature; or else, why is it that the politician seeks for it so continually, and toils for it days without number, and wastes the sap of his life in midnight debate? There is a pleasure in it. But mark you, that pleasure is counter-balanced by its anxiety. Popularity has its head in the clouds, but its feet are in the sands; and while the man’s head is among the stars he trembles for his feet. There is an anxiety to increase his power, or else to maintain it; and that anxiety takes away much of the enjoyment of it…I say, that to gain the whole world is but little, and especially when we are sinners against God. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


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