King Solomon and the Apostle Paul.
The difference between them lay in the focus of their passion:
Solomon’s passion was directed away from God by his affection for unbelieving foreign women:
“His wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.” (1 Kings 11:4)
Paul’s passion, by contrast, was redirected from self-righteous legalism toward knowing Christ:
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:7, 8)
Solomon expended his life on pleasure:
“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.” (Ecclesiastes 2:10)
Paul, by comparison, invested his life in making Christ known:
“We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy… ” (Colossians 1:28, 29)
HOW DID THESE TWO MEN OF PASSION END UP?
Solomon became bitter and disappointed in his old age:
“I hated life… [and] I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun… ” (Ecclesiastes 2:17a, 18a)
Paul, however completed his life with a profound sense of accomplishment and anticipation:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day… ” (2 Timothy 4:8)
(1) Where is the focus of your passion? On yourself, or on the Glory of God?
(2) How will you end up? Like Solomon, or like Paul?