What Are Priorities for life?
Question: “What is the correct priority in your life? What functions and actions have first priority? What are those priorities that can lead us to failure or success?”
The Bible does not offer a 1, 2, 3 answer to this question, but we can still find scriptural guidance.
- Relationship with God.
The first priority is very clear. And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment (Luke 12:34).
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24). To experience the promises of God and a full relationship with God, be sure to make your relationship with God first in your life.
However, loving God first does not mean that we cannot love others. Jesus said, the second great commandment is to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:38).
If you are married, then your spouse is the second most important priority in your life. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh (Ephesians 5:31). First comes God, then comes the spouse. But before one marries, they need go beyond their hormones and be sure that this is the one that the Lord has picked for them. The one that will support them, love them, and be one with them for life.
A man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. Christ’s first priority—after obeying and glorifying the Father—was the church. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25).
3. Children, Part of main family
Husband and wives become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), second only to God, and as we are instructed to honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 5:16), then it stands to reason that children are the next in priority after the parents. The parents have the responsibility to raise their children in the love and guidance of the Lord, putting God first. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Exodus 20:3).
4. Job, Support of family
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). We are to work to support our families, but we need to remember that it is God who provides. God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
It is not what we are supplying, but God that is supplying through us for our family. We often forget that God is helping us and we are not doing it all by ourselves. Thusly we put our time and efforts to earning an income ahead of God. Secondly, many, especially those in the ministry, confuse a growing relationship with God and serving God. God is mush more interested in our obedience than our service.
But Samuel replied:“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?”
(1 Samuel 15:22).
Deuteronomy 5:16 tells us that we are to always honor our parents. Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. We are to always honor our parents, but in the circles of priority, we have God in the center, then spouse, then children, then our job, then our parents.
However, there are times when one can correctly argue that parents should be the fourth priority and that the Job should actually be the fifth priority. This is determined by the circumstances.
6. Extended family
Lastly we have our extended family and friends. It is not always easy to decide which group or person to support or not to support, and that is were the circles of priority comes into play. If we can support them, great, but if a choice is required and we have to say no, we should always support those closer to the center of the priority circle. While at times, we have to say no to a request, we can always pray for them.
Lets look at a story Jesus tells in Luke 12:16-
Most do not demote God below first place, rather many promote job and other interests above God. Those who do not have God first in their life miss God’s blessings.
Those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God have put their possessions ahead of God, they have failed to make God the first priority in their life and end up losing their eternal life.
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me (Matthew 15:8).
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first (Revelation 2:4).
Those who go to heaven love God and make Him the most important priority in their life.
Next Section: Is lying a sin?