Don’t Focus on the Futile

By Jason Benham

1 Samuel 12:21 – “And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.”

Samuel the priest was giving the Israelites poignant advice that we still need to this day – “make sure you don’t turn aside from following the Lord because if you do then you’ll end up going after futile things – that which cannot profit or deliver.”

It may sound extremely simple from the outside, but the impact this advice can have on our lives and relationships is incredible. We start with the definition of futile – “incapable of producing any useful result.” If it’s futile it isn’t profitable. Our definition of profit is not the surplus you have at the end of the month, but anything that leads to LIFE! Relational life, emotional life, physical life, spiritual life. If what you are doing is enhancing and sustaining life in these areas then it is profitable. If not, then the thing you’re doing is futile – it’s pointless.

We can hear the wisdom of our ancient friend Samuel ringing through our ears – “It’s pointless to build a career but lose your family. It’s futile to make lots of money but forfeit your soul – your money can’t deliver you on judgment day.”

So here’s the question – what is it that you’ve been focusing on that could be considered futile?

Is there anything worth having that costs you the relationships you hold dearest? Don’t just say it with your mouth, prove it with your calendar. Skip that meeting – have lunch with your wife. Don’t take that call – play catch with your son. Forget that email – dance in the kitchen with your daughter.

Don’t focus on the futile – focus on being faithful. When you do God will reward you with life!


Jason Benham

My aim is simple: I want to get you hooked on God’s Word so that you become the godly man your wife and kids need you to be—the faithful warrior God called you to be. As men, we were made to fight, and our greatest weapon is the Word of God. Armed with His truth, we can win the battles desperately raging against us, our marriages, our families, as well as the culture in which we are called to change.

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