What matters most to you?
I can rattle off an answer to that question pretty quickly but I am not sure that my actual life would always back up what I claim to be most important. I think most of us struggle to one degree or another with making the day to day decisions that place our time and resources in their proper priority slot.
Many things vie for my focus. Some are worthy such as my God, my family and my church. Some are not worthy and I have no problem avoiding such as Justin Bieber, raisins and the biggest trends in pet apparel. The problem is that not everything falls into that second list so easily. There are things like exercise and eating right that need to matter to me but at times I ignore. Then there are things like stuff, power, prestige and affirmation that can take on a life of its’ own if we let them.
Jesus knows our tendencies for messing up priorities so He asks us, “What would it profit you if you gained the whole world but lost your soul?” (Matthew 16:26) This question has an eternal aspect that brings us to the end of our days on earth but it also speaks to our lives right now. God wants us to enjoy our lives now and live them out in a way that matters until we reach home. Our God wants us to live the way that He created us to live.
God made us for significant lives that are filled with love, joy and peace. When our priorities are in line with God’s we will be able to find these things even when life isn’t easy. God can accomplish this! But when I pursue a different set of priorities I will find myself scrambling to keep things from spinning out of control. The interesting thing is that I can get caught up in all sorts of good priorities such as “church work”, projects at home and spending time with my family but if God Himself has taken a backseat even those good things can be like drinking dust to quench my thirst.
In Matthew 16:26 Jesus asks us a second question, “What can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Or in other words - What have you given your life to accomplish? What did you decide would be what you are all about? With Jesus questions guiding your thoughts – what are your priorities? Are you ok with the answer or is it the perfect time for God to recalibrate your souls and bring you back to the full life you were intended to live?