Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Priorities for the Christian


Why are you living? What is the purpose of your life? Is it to go to work...
to earn a living... to support your family... to pay your bills... to save for
retirement? Is it to exercise your skills, either on the job or in some sports
activity? Is it to "achieve your human potential"?

The Westminster Confession tells us "the chief end of man is to glorify God
and enjoy Him forever". While I'm sure most believers would agree in principle
that this is the ONLY reason to live, the practicality of living that out is
perhaps a little less clear. What does that look like?

Perhaps it's best to answer that with the idea of PRIORITIES in mind:
What are God's priorities for me? What does HE want my life to be all about,
above everything else?

The Pharisees asked Jesus essentially the same question: "What command takes
top priority over all the (thousands of) others?" His answer was as simple as it
was comprehensive: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul
and all your mind, and, Love your Neighbor as yourself." And then I just LOVE
the "stinger", the knock-out punch, He tacked on: "ALL the Law and the Prophets
hang on these two commands." I call this a "stinger" because He said it to an
audience that was concerned about thousands of commands in the Law; in two
sentences, Jesus not only summarized the whole Law but simultaneously trashed
their belief that mere strict adherence to "Law" is the point of faith.

Pretty clear, eh? So the bottom line is that a Love relationship with God,
and a Love relationship with those around me, IS what my entire life
should be centered around, it would seem... PERSONS -- God, and
those around me -- and building Love relationships with them: THIS, and nothing else
and nothing less, should be the predominant PRIORITY in my life, every single day.

And here is the "triangle of Love" that I try so hard to talk about here on this
Blog: God loves ME... God loves the people AROUND me (wife, children, family,
church family)... I am to love the people around me, as the primary way of
loving GOD in return... THEY are to love ME, as their primary way of loving God in

It's fascinating then to ponder the idea that the very NATURE of God is this very
same "triangle of Love", God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit loving
one another in community... And it's this Community of Love that God wants to
establish between each of us, with Him, focused on -- serving and loving -- those
around us...

So NOW how does the question of PRIORITIES look? How can any of us blow off the work
of Love relationships with spouse, children, family, church family, community, and
World and focus instead on Career, or School, or Parenting, or Home Improvement, or
Sports, or... name your poison... ?? Again, what is the purpose of my life?

If my focus, every single day, isn't on developing and deepening these Love
relationships, (and they often require a great deal of work and sacrifice and
self-denial), then I can confidently say that my Priorities are backwards and

May God help us all to constantly re-align.

No comments: