Did you know the most important commodity you have today is not your money or possessions, but your time? Think about it, you can always make more money but you can’t buy more time. So when we give somebody our time, we are giving them a portion of our lives we will never get back. Time is so valuable and that is why we all make time for what’s important. The reason why I don’t work out every day is because it’s not that important to me. That’s not to say working out everyday is not important, but for me, 2-3 times a week helps me to value other priorities in my life.
Before the pandemic, one of the most common answers to the question, “How are you doing?” was to say, “Busy”. Being busy isn’t always a bad thing! Especially if our priorities of what is important is aligned with our spiritual lives. As we start to get back to our “normal” lives, it’s time to start evaluating the things that kept us so busy. Were you filling your schedule to the brim with your to-do lists? How can you create margin, ahead of time, for God’s priorities?
C.S. Lewis wrote, “If we put first things first, we get the second things thrown in; but if we put second things first, we lose both the first and second things.” Jesus knew all too well that our hearts would often be filled with secondary things first and that is why he told us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well. So how do we put God first in a world that never seems to slow down or let up?
Let me offer three helpful ways to put God first:
- Make the church community a priority again
God created you with a longing to be deeply connected with others. Relationships aren’t just important, they are essential to thriving as a human and as a follower of Jesus. What’s the solution to this? The local church! If you are not deeply connected to a local church, please put that at the top of your to-do list. Online church has been great and used mightily by God, but it will never replace the physical gathering of God’s people together.
- Make following Jesus your main goal
When you read the Gospels, which contain the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, what becomes clear very quickly is that Jesus wasn’t interested in becoming popular. And while we live in a time where following Jesus is not popular, it should always be our priority. Jesus is looking for committed and faithful followers, not fans. It’s not always fun or popular to follow Jesus. Sometimes he asks us to do things we don’t want or go places we don’t like. But, when we follow him, he’ll always lead us into paths of purpose and joy.
- Aim to love and serve people
One of the things that angered the religious people of Jesus day the most is how he often ate with tax collectors and “sinners”. Jesus loved to spend time with people on the margins of society. Sometimes, I don’t want to be bothered by people who need something or need something from me! One of the things (among many!) I am working on and looking forward to is spending time with people who think, look, and act much differently from me. That is the way of Jesus. Look for ways to go out of your way and even share a meal with someone much different than you.
No matter what this year continues to bring, let’s put God first! Let’s do that by honoring him with the most precious thing we have, our time.