Dear friends

I think that we are probably aware that many people, sadly, have made a great mess of their lives. Many have the wrong priorities, and because of that, they have had to bear the consequences.

I recently read some thoughts from a man who had spent many years working as a car salesman. He said that he was constantly amazed at the choices which many people try to make. Few people, he said, really needed the car which they eventually bought. He could not believe what some people would spend. He knew very well that many frequently got themselves into huge debt. The result was often disastrous consequences in other areas of their lives.

The problem of not having the right priorities is, however, one with which many people struggle, not just individuals who are involved in buying cars. Maybe it is a problem which affects us. What, I wonder, is most important for us? What are our priorities today? 

We live in a society where we are constantly encouraged to think only about ourselves. It is possessions which would seem to take over many people’s lives. Society tells us that happiness comes by looking after number one.

The truth, though, is that believers are called to put God first and to value time spent with Him. Believers are called upon to serve others, and to love their neighbour. The danger is often that we get such a priority out of balance, and we desire to be served instead of following the model and example which Jesus showed. 

I am challenged by a writer who said that, “living in the light of eternity changes your priorities.” What does he mean? He means that when we recognise that our life on this earth is of finite length, we become aware that we don’t have all the time in the world to do what we like. We must take time to decide just what our priorities should be. 

One of my favourite Christian hymns/songs is that by Karen Lafferty, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”. It is obviously based on Jesus’ words which we read in chapter 6 of Matthew’s Gospel. He says, “seek first His kingdom, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The point being that our priorities need to be those which are based on the will of God.

I believe that many people, sadly, have the wrong priorities. They ignore  worship and fill their time with the things of the world. They concern themselves, primarily, with what they regard as enjoyment, and, at the same time, they fail to discover how God would want them to live. Is it not the case that the opportunities which are available to learn of Christ and to grow in Christ may not be available for ever?

I have to say that we must all ask ourselves questions about our priorities. As the old hymn says, “life at best is very brief, like the falling of a leaf, like the binding of a sheaf, be in time. Fleeting days are telling fast that the die will soon be cast, and the fatal line be passed, be in time.” I pray that we might all, myself included, ask ourselves serious questions about our priorities. Are we seeking first His kingdom?

Yours in Christian hope,

Graham G Brown