A Closer Look At Priorities
You may be one who often quotes the statement Jesus made in Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Have those words become the motto of our lips, the song we sing, and the platform of our lives? To know if these words are lived or just breathed, consider the following:
What do we talk about? The conversations in which we engage come quite naturally out of the things on our minds. Colossians 3:2 says our minds should be attentive to the “things above, where Christ is...for ye died, and your life is hid with Christ.” If our conversations rarely mention the Lord except in connection with the services of the church, that ought to tell us something. If we do talk about spiritual matters, but our conversations easily drift toward other things, then there is serious doubt our priorities are truly spiritual.
How do we spend our time? Ephesians 5:15-17 says we should be wise in our walks, redeem the time because the days are evil, and understand what God’s will is. I can know how much priority I place upon time by the way I use my “spare time.” What “spare time” we have is usually spent on our priorities. Some families have taken their “vacation” time and traveled to a lectureship in another state for a week or to a place where the Lord’s church is small, to help them teach the lost and strengthen the brethren. It would be easy to believe those people if they said they loved the Lord more than anything else. Then you hear of Christians who all their working lives murmur about not having enough time for the Lord, and when they retire, spend all their leisure time traveling with less time devoted to the Lord than before. What does that say about their priorities? The way we spend our time does speak loudly about our priorities.
How can I know, honestly, what my priorities are? “Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants are ye whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16). Our lives are what we do with our priorities!! We cannot go “all out” in one area of life and then truthfully claim something else is our priority. We might quote scriptures, but do we live by them? We can attend the classes, but do we apply their messages? We may teach on love, courage, and obedience - glory in its achievement and rest on its virtue - but are they practiced?
James 1:22-25 speaks of the virtue of doing the word, and not being hearers only. The one who hears only views himself in the mirror, but forgets what he saw. By contrast, the conscientious disciple looks at himself and gives attention to what needs changing, and makes immediate adjustments. Somehow, we must gather the courage to look and make the necessary changes in our priorities, if eternity holds any hope for us.