Living Your Priorities

When you ask Christians what their top three priorities are in order of importance they almost always say:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Career

businessman with his arms wide open in rural fieldThis cookie cutter “Church answer” is supposed to reflect that we’ve placed God as our top priority follow next by our families and then way down the list of priorities are our careers. The problem arises when you look at how we live our lives as compared to what we say our priorities are. It is easy to say that God is our number one priority, with our families coming in second, but one look at our calendars and finances more often than not shows us something completely different.

If a person didn’t know anything about you but they had the opportunity to watch you from afar, seeing how you spent your time and where you spent your money, they could get a pretty good understanding of what your priorities truly are. If we view God as our number one priority but spend no time reading the Bible, praying or trying to spread the Gospel, how could we be convicted of placing God above everything else? If we choose to work after hours instead of spending time with our families, how does that convict us of placing our families above our careers? It is easy to say that we place God and our families above our careers but in reality it seems that for most of us we are more concerned with the worldly pursuits than actually living out what we consider our top priorities.

The truth is that God shouldn’t even be a priority. God should be everything. God asks us to die of this world so that Christ can live in us and through us.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. – Romans 6:4

If we truly wish to place God above everything else, we must be intentional. From the way we spend our money to the way that we spend our time should all be to the glory of God. Living this way and choosing to focus on God is difficult unlike simply declaring that He is our number one priority. Focusing on living a life that brings glory to the Lord and helps build the Kingdom is counter everything that this world says we should because it means choosing to devote ourselves to something that is bigger than ourselves. That is the reason why it is so difficult to live this way. It is also the reason why the world is so entirely messed up. We must stop thinking in terms of I, me and mine and start thinking about everything that is outside of ourselves. Only when we die can we live. Only if we truly do this intentionally can we live what should be every Christians declared list of priorities:

  1. God
  2. God
  3. God

lightofforgivenessThe interesting thing is that when we live as if we have placed God above everything else, everything else falls into place. Our families are happier, our careers are more fulfilling, and our finances just seem to be sufficient. Anyone who has submitted and surrendered to the will of God understands that it does not come with a life of guaranteed freedom from suffering but it does come with a life of purpose. The priorities of this world are temporal but the priorities of God are eternal. By living for God we are not simply setting priorities for today but for generations to come. We can be examples to our children who will then become examples to their children. Placing God above everything else takes care of everything else.

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.