All through life, we make certain things our priority. At various times as children, we tend to place our priorities on various things like play and food.
As we grow older however, our priorities begin to shift. Other priorities emerge, education, career, family, friendships, self-actualization, and community involvement among others.
As Christians, it is important that we know what where our priorities lie. It is so easy for us to shift emphasis from what God wants us to do to other things that look and sound exciting, yet should be the least in the terms of our priority.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus expressed his displeasure at the Pharisees. They were very meticulous in calculating tithe due to be paid by the people, even to the minutest measurements of vegetables and plants.
This they did in obedience to Jewish law. Yet, Jesus rebuked them because their priorities were misplaced. They felt once they fulfilled their duties to making sure tithes were paid, other things like Justice -ensuring that everyone was fairly and equally treated, Mercy – ensuring that those who are suffering from misfortune are given assistance and help, and Faith – encouraging the people to put their trust in God, did not matter.
I am sure if Jesus were to visit many of our churches today, a high percentage would receive the same rebuke. Like the Pharisees, many of our churches have misplaced their priorities. God gave the vision to those who started many of these ministries but somewhere along the line, they diverged from God’s main purpose for establishing the ministry.
A friend of mine and I were once discussing about so much evil going on in the world. I remarked that if God delegated His power to me for one day, I would get rid of all the evil people around the world before I hand over back to Him. Obviously that would mean killing millions of people around the world, including people dear to me. Would I be willing to go that far? My friend remarked, “I would like to do just one thing, I would remove every trace of tithe from the Bible. Then I would see if some pastors would trust God enough to sustain their ministry”. I looked at my friend and realized that those words came from a heart that I had thought deep and long about this issue.
In our personal lives, we need to examine ourselves. What are our priorities? Is it being the best we can be in our chosen area of career? There is nothing wrong with that but is it at the top of our priority list?
Is it making sure that we have a healthy bank account so that we don’t have to worry about money? Is it buying or building a magnificent house or a great car for yourself? There is nothing wrong with desiring these things. If however the desire for them is at the top of our priority list, then we have our priorities misplaced.
I remember having a discussion with a friend may years ago. We were talking about her frustration at not being married when she was clearly ready for it. I remember asking her the question, “What if Jesus returned now, wouldn’t the joy you would experience surpass any joy you would experience on your wedding day” She strongly replied, “No! I want to get married before Jesus returns”. Her response shows clearly where her priorities lie.
What then should be at the top of our priority list? There is no one better than the Preacher to answer that question for us. “Here is my final conclusion: fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the entire duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Here is a man who attained fame and fortune. Scripture tells us that there was no king before or after him who had his wisdom and wealth. Yet, at a point in his life, he realized that only one thing mattered, reverence for God and doing his will. Every other thing should follow after that.
As I type these words, I am asking myself the same question I ask you now, “What is your priority?”
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org