Monday, July 22, 2013

Managing Priorities by Martin Wiles

She was in town to swindle someone…anyone, and he just happened to cross her path.

In the Andy Griffith episode, Barney on the Rebound, Barney almost loses his money to a sweet talking con-artist named Melissa. She and her husband were in the business of setting up men to marry her and then suing for breach of trust when the soon-to-be grooms got cold feet.

When the announcement of Barney and Melissa’s engagement hit the local paper, Barney was beside himself. Andy’s son Opie, however, zeroed in on a more important question: “Barney, if you got one girl, why do you need another?” And he had Thelma Lou.

Jesus asked a similar question. After telling the crowd what following him required, he quipped, And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul (Mark 8:36)?

When experiencing the challenges of young adulthood, I didn’t always consider my priorities or their merits. But having now surpassed midlife, I have a stronger desire that the second half of my life be more spiritually productive. After all, if my pursuits gain me the whole world—a more luxurious car, a larger home, a higher promotion, a more prestigious college, a new spouse, better health, a cushioned bank account, but I lose my soul, what have I accomplished?

I lose my soul eternally by never letting Christ deal with my sin nature. But even as a believer, I can lose my soul by turning my attention to things that don’t nurture my relationship with God. Possessions, power, and position are the three master focus stealers. Whatever I pursue, I try to ask, “Does this enhance my love for God and others?” 

Are you gaining the whole world with selfish pursuits? If so, they’ll always leave you feeling hollow and empty.

Prayer: Father, may our pursuits in life reflect our supreme love for You.

Why not share this with a friend who needs a word of encouragement? 

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