plural noun: priorities
1. a thing that is regarded as more important than another.
- the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.
The questions I want us to think about today are:
- “What should my priorities be?”
- “What are my priorities?”
Even by the questions I hope that you can see the issues and tensions that arise. What should be most important (my priorities) and what is most important (my real priorities) may or may not be the same. Obviously they should be the same or I am wasting my life on that which really doesn’t matter. The key for you and me is to know what God defines as “priority” and then to be able to discern what our lives reveal are our priorities.
Fortunately for us discerning, what our Priorities should be is clearly spelled out for us in scripture. We don’t need to look further than Colossians 1:16-18 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” Jesus, first place (PRIORITY) in EVERYTHING. The greatest commandment would be another place we could look to find Priority: “Love God with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength!” WOW! That was easy.
But now comes the harder part. How do I know what my real priorities are and whether they match up with what is clearly declared in scripture. Here we are also helped by scripture. Romans 6:16 says; “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Another way of saying it is Mattew 7; “by their fruits you will know them.” In other words, our priorities are revealed by an examination of how we actually live our lives. If we look at our lives closely, we will discover what our real priorities are.
So here are just a few questions to ask yourself as you seek to discover your real priorities.
1. What do I choose to do with my free time?
2. Where do I spend my money?
3. What do I love to talk about?
4. What do I love to think about?
5. What does it take to trump what I hold to be a priority? i.e. how easily will I give up what I say is my priority for something else?
6. What would those closest to me say are my priorities? (Warning! Your children know what your priorities are- not what you say they are!
7. What have my priorities cost me lately?
Although these questions still require some hard thinking, they do set us down the course of discovering whether we are living out the conviction that Christ is first place or whether we are simple deceiving ourselves into saying Christ is first when our life reveals He is in the back seat as a tag along. May God lead us see the truth and to repent where necessary and to press on anew and afresh to not waste our lives but exalt Him as first in everything. He is worth it all!