Your Priorities

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. – Matthew 6:33.

And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit. – 1 Peter 3:13-18.

Colleen was entrusted with the charity and building maintenance funds of her church in Pennsylvania. Colleen who is 34-years-old, apparently had herself in mind as a charity case when thinking of how the funds should be used. She used $325,000 to buy a second house on the beach and to do some maintenance on her body by having breast implants. The good news is that with the help of relatives she was able to make full restitution of the money she embezzled. 

Colleen now says, “I have been humiliated and very humbled. I wish I could turn back the clock. What I thought was important in life, wasn’t.” 

She told the judge, I was very dishonest and selfish.” 

At her sentencing, she asked for forgiveness from the church members present. She was sentenced to two years of house arrest followed by two years of probation along with 750 hours of community service.

Colleen must now suffer for doing evil. As Peter writes it is so much better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. Why did Colleen do what she did? Her attorney claims it was because she has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, I know personally people with these disorders and have never known any of them to do anything like this. It does appear that Colleen simply had the wrong priorities in her life. Her primary concern was not for her brothers and sisters in Christ or for their missionary efforts. Instead, as she indicates, she was very selfish and concerned only about herself. A church elder indicated that Colleen’s primary home was in very good shape and that it was a “large, well-kept stone home” as compared to the church facility, which was in need of much repair.

Colleen’s situation is a very sad and extreme example of the result of misplaced priorities. However, she made the choice at some point to begin traveling down the path that led to her ultimately embezzling from her church and to her disgrace. You have to think that at first she was a person who was trusted by the church to have been given control of such a large fund.

Putting the Kingdom of God first in your life is not a one-time thing. No, it is not even a weekly thing. It should be an every day, every hour, every minute, every moment thing that consumes our lives. You may be thinking isn’t that a bit radical? To avoid traveling the wrong paths with our lives does take some radical living. Colleen would most likely tell you that she wishes she had been more radical in her living for the Lord.

Why not take a moment right now to consider the priorities in your life? Are they the priorities that the Lord would want you to have? If not, why not change them now, and get on the right path with your life before it is too late?

(Living your life for God requires a continual obedience with the right priorities.)

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