The most active shopping season of the year is upon us again. Many are buying gifts to exchange with family and friends. There is much to consider about this time of year, both good and bad. Certainly, one revealing thing about the season is the tendency of many toward using money to buy material things. As I have recently discussed (see my 11-04-10 Blog, “For The Love of Money”) money is something that often dominates a person’s priorities. When families get together during these holiday times, it may also be sports that dominate their time together. Sports can be fun and exciting to watch and even play in, but they also can (and often do) take on too high of a priority in our lives. In fact, we each should regularly evaluate our priorities to be certain they are not out of order. May I challenge you in this Christmas and Holiday season to, as the song says, “rise up” and “have done with lesser things.”
There is nothing like a tragedy, a crisis, or some life changing event to help give you a greater perspective on your priorities. Too often, it actually takes a difficult time with something or even some personal affliction to get us to evaluate our bad habits and behaviors. This should not be the case, but because of our fallen human nature, it often is. How many times do you see someone finally making a positive life change after a negative event? An automobile wreck will at least help you to be more conscious of how you drive, and depending on how badly a person is hurt, may even lead to a change of lifestyle. Being physically sick, especially if it involves a terminal illness, tends to make you more thankful for the health you do have. Losing a family member or loved one will certainly help you reevaluate your own life and priorities. Tragedy and difficulty reveals the more important and the lesser things. It takes away the surface layers and reveals more of the heart.
I trust that your heart is whole and that your life is filled with many good things. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the small and simple things of life. GOD created large and small things for us to enjoy. It is bad, however, when we put those small or more minor things above the more important things. Even good things can become bad when they cause you to neglect the more important and best way that GOD has for you (c.f. Hebrews 12:1ff). It is also bad when your example causes others to stumble or leads them away from what is best (c.f. Romans 14:16). Parents, teachers, preachers and leaders have an even greater responsibility and a lot for which they will give account. Lesser things are important, but they must be seen for what they are and not put above the more important things.
Friend, I do not know what you value in your life. I do not know if you are caught up with things that will not mean very much in eternity. When you consider the heavens and the vastness of what GOD has Created and what HE sustains, it helps you to see how small you really are (c.f. Psalm 8:3ff). When you understand that your Creator also has a specific plan and purpose for your life, it brings meaning to what would otherwise be insignificant. I trust that you are valuing the things that HE says are more important. I trust you are regularly reading and studying His revealed Truth and not just a token reading on Sunday (if you attend church and they exposit the Word) or at Christmas time (if you even read the Christmas story during this holiday season). GOD, as understood in the Person of Jesus Christ, should have the priority position in every area of your life (c.f. Colossians 1:18). Of course, HE will allow you to choose another priority or lesser thing, yet you will still have to give an account to your Creator for everything you do—good and bad (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12). Jesus, Himself said that each person will even given an account of every idle word that they speak (Matthew 12:36). The greater question there 😉 is at which of the two key judgments will you be?
So, during this holiday season, please “have done with lesser things” and keep your priorities in order. I trust that you will come to know your Creator, Who became that Baby Who grew to give His life to become your Savior! Prioritize HIM!!