September 12, 2012

Examining Our Priorities

Matthew 6:25-34

“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
—Matthew 6:25


Look at a ruby-throated hummingbird or a peacock, and you will have no doubt that God loves to clothe his creatures beautifully. The same is true for orchids and roses. So, it’s not wrong to be dressed nicely, even beautifully.

But there’s something sick about going to “shop until you drop,” as some people do by dashing from one boutique to another, looking for the latest trends to make a fashion statement. Sometimes it’s called worldliness, which means losing the balance of honoring God more than the world in all we think, say, and do.

I sensed the problem one day when I arrived at a church just in time to lead the worship service, having gotten caught in a terrific traffic jam. As the elder prayed before the sermon, I thought, “I’ll just run a comb through my hair while everyone’s eyes are closed.” After all, I was a bit wind-blown after such a long ride, and who wants to see a preacher with his hair all messed up? In a flash, however, it came to me that a time of prayer is not the time for a person to think about his own looks, but to worship God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything.” But if we are preoccupied with clothes or money or food, and we forget about God, we’ve got our priorities mixed up. As Jesus put it, “seek first his kingdom,” and all that we need will be given to us as well.

O God, may we focus on you, and trust you to make us beautiful in your sight. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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