How do we live our lives well, without regret? We can’t avoid regret completely, but we certainly can minimize its presence by keeping God’s priorities. Just pursuing whatever we want with all our might can leave us running down the wrong road. We need to regularly ask God for his wisdom and guidance so we stay on the path he has for us. We need to adopt his priorities as our priorities, what matters to Him becomes what matter to us. In the Bible, Jesus is asked what the most important commandment is and answers, Mark 12:30-31 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’”
It requires every ounce of focus to do just these two things well – God first then people second. And, not just any people, in whatever order, but specifically we are to serve our own family well. Since husband and wife are considered as one, our spouse needs to come next. Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Children are specifically told to honor their parents and parents to treasure their children. Psalm 127:3 says Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. We are to take care of those in our immediate family and keep an eye out for extended family as well as orphans and widows. Next come friendships, as we learn to stick closer than a brother with our friends and church family.
Everything else comes next and can be summarized with Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. So, we do our best to be people of integrity that bring God honor as we go about our daily work. But, that doesn’t mean our daily work ever should be a bigger priority than God, our families and friends.
No problem, we think, but we will find
the world has a problem with us refusing to play by its rules.
The world allows kids to creep up even to our first priority. God is way down the list if he’s on it at all! And really, marriage is acceptable, but certainly not meant to get in the way of my work and hobbies and happiness. When you get bored, move on to someone else. Work easily creeps up to our top or second priority. It’s really a mess. When we truly seek to order our lives the way God tells us to and keep it in that order, we will run into problems.
So, we need to decide whose priorities we are going to go with…God’s or the world’s. They are completely different and you must choose. Someone is not going to be happy with our decisions and priorities….who will you decide to disappoint? Your boss or your family? Your golf buddy or your kids? Your hobby or your God? You’ll never regret that you didn’t work more. When the kids are out of the house, you’ll be glad you invested most in your marriage. When we get to heaven, we will be glad we put God first and got to hear Matthew 25;23 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’