I am not sure if it is because I am going to turn 50 this year and thus I have some grey hair and hopefully a little bit of wisdom, or if it has been a lack of basic Bible teaching within our churches, but I have become more and more aware that many Christians have no clue as to how to prioritize things in their life. Because of this, I decided that I would share with you the 3 basic Christian priorities that I use to make most of the decision in my life.
In order to have an effective and fruitful Christian life, you need to have these priorities in order. If you don’t, then you will end up either short-circuiting God’s plan in your life and thus limiting the abundant blessings that He has for you, or you will end up hurting others all the time and yanking up the seeds you are trying to plant in their life. You will find yourself, frustrated, unfulfilled as a Christian and defeated all the time. So although these are basic Christian principles for living, take a moment to do some self evaluation as you read these priorities and see if maybe God would have you change some things.
The 3 Basic Christian Priorities In Life For Effective Living.
The world we live in and especially our American culture has these priorities all backwards. The Christian life is supposed to be modeled after Jesus. However in our culture and in the world’s way of thinking, the priorities are thus. They would have us believe that the way to be happy is to first focus on ourselves. They would say that if we are not happy then nothing else can go right. They then tell us to focus on our family and friends while as an afterthought we should then focus on morality or doing what is right.
The exact opposite is true for the Christian that wants to have an effective and fruitful life. The Biblical model for Christian living is putting your relationship with Jesus first. That would include living a moral life and doing the things that He would do. Next you then take into consideration what is best for others. You are called to be a servant and that servanthood is lived out in the lives of others. Finally and only after you have priority number 1 and 2 in place do you give consideration for yourself. Let’s look at these in greater detail.
Jesus comes first.
Your relationship with Jesus is the fountainhead of everything that happens in your life. From it springs the life and power to live a Christian life. It is both your daily bread and your living water. It gives you the reason and purpose for living. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you made the commitment to surrender your will, emotions, and intellect to Him. In return, He gave you His Spirit to live on the inside of you.
Many of us assent to this fact, but at the same time, many of us struggle with living this out. We want the benefits of His Spirit and the assurance of salvation without daily surrendering our lives to His Lordship. Jesus must be first in your life. The questions of what do I want to do, what do I feel like doing, and what do I think is right become replaced with What does He want to do, what does He feel like doing, and what does He think is right.
Let me give you an example. Right now we are in the midst of a Presidential election year. The world would have us make our decisions based upon what is best for us. Regardless of political party, they are all saying how much they will do for us and so we should vote for them. I look at this whole situation from a different standpoint. I ask myself who would Jesus vote for if any and if so why or why not. My life, including my vote, is His.
The effect of your decisions on other people comes second.
Jesus said that the greatest of us would be the servants of all. We are called to serve other people. We cannot do that if everytime we make a decision we forget to consider the effect of our decisions on others. It actually ties in to priority number 1.
After I think I get to the point that I understand what Jesus would do, I then look at this priority. I have found that if what I think Jesus would have me do then causes me to hurt other people, more than likely there is another solution that I have not thought about or have not surrendered to. You see, Jesus loves the people around you. He cares for them deeply. Unless it is something major that you just have to make a stand against or follow through with, He does not want you to hurt others. That is just the way it is.
Many times we justify hurting others with religiosity. We clothe ourselves in our religion to give us an excuse for hurting others. This is just plain wrong. The same Jesus that called you to surrender your life to Him is the same Jesus that called you to serve others.
Again let me give you an example. When you make a commitment to someone to love them or serve them and then it gets a little uncomfortable, what do you think the proper response is? Many people will love the easy people but what about the people that try your patience or are living in sin? Do you justify breaking that commitment just because it gets hard? Do you make it religious sounding by stating that you are keeping yourself pure and away from the world? You were called to go into the world, not remove yourself!
Finally, after you have worked out those 2 priorities in your life, then you can worry about yourself.
The way to happiness is not by focusing on yourself. The way to happiness is doing things God’s way. When you have done the first 2 priorities, you will find that the third basically takes care of itself. God has promised that if we will surrender to Him, that He has a wonderful plan for our life. He gives you the most fulfilling and effective life that you could imagine.
There is no greater joy than to be used to touch others for Jesus. There is no greater joy than to walk with the peace that God is truly in control. There is no greater experience than to actually have God use you for eternal purposes. Your problems, your needs, your desires end up becoming so small in the grand scope of things.
You can easily remember these priorities with this acronym.
I can tell you right now. If every believer in Jesus would follow these principles, our world would be turned upside down and people would be flocking to our churches as they did in the book of Acts.