Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“And behold, a man came up to him, saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.’…
The young man said to him, ‘All these I have kept. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
Matthew 19:16-22 (ESV)
In 1989, the late Stephen Covey published a book entitled “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” suggesting living life by aligning yourself to seven habits of a character ethic that he emphasized as timeless and universal.
The 3rd habit was to— “Put First Things First,” which emphasizes the quality of distinguishing between the “important” things of life and those that are simply “urgent,” and then building those important “first things” into the foundation of your life.
Easy enough, right?
Except, as we saw in the scripture, it wasn’t so easy for the wealthy young man. He walked away depressed with the choices before him.
Leave all his stuff or walk away from Christ and the eternal life He called Him to live in life on earth and forever.
We’ve been there. Wrestling to get our priorities right.
Maybe we don’t have the wealth of that rich young man.
But we know how it feels.
And whatever we have and whatever we seek after, can keep us away from the “first things” of life which Christ and Covey are pointing us to embrace. The priorities God points us to of people, service and eternal outreaches expanding His Kingdom.
What was important to the young man were his treasures, his stuff and money. All he had accumulated. His position, status and fame. He felt included and important. And he held onto all of that very tightly, for himself. Those were his priorities, and he walked away from Christ.
What about us? Do we see our talents, time and treasures as ours?
Or do we see them as God’s gifts to us to share with and use for others and His kingdom’s purposes?
One time around to leave a legacy of things, or to focus on the “first things” in life and leave a legacy of fingerprints on the hearts of those who are less when we are gone, but more because we were here and cared.
One time around to leave a legacy of worldly success, or a legacy of positive impact reaching for all the potential that God placed not only in our own lives, but also in the lives of all those around us who need some help from us.
Living lives aligned with the important and eternal priorities of Christ and leaving a legacy of changed lives in the world all around us, simply because—we were here.
Living lives aligned with the priorities of the “first things” of people and eternal purpose which God calls us to.
One time around to remember and live out—first things first!
The truth is that one day we are going to come face-to-face with the reality that our time on earth is over, and maybe even more striking will be the realization along the way that we can’t do the days and years of our lives over again.
One time around.
Make it about the “first things.”
One time around—first things first!
In His Name – Scott
Watch, listen to and enjoy “First Things First” by the contemporary Christian worship group “Consumed by Fire.”