Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who decides what is important?

I don't seem to be in a writing season right now.... BUT I have some random thoughts that have been on my mind for a few months that I have to try to write out. I've been thinking about priorities, what we make important in our lives, in our churches, wherever .... and how crazy it is that we can distort reality so much and go years with thinking something is SOO important to only find out it isn't important at ALL except that we made it important. Yet in our own realities, it WAS truly soo important to us.... but our reality was wrong and we didn't even know it. It takes a paradigm shift to bring us to True reality.

This is true in our personal lives but I'll just use the example of this I see in churches. In my experiences the past years, it has been so eye-opening how many different aspects of "church" people make SOO important. It seems we segregate all the church is - into categories: creating a Sunday morning environment, children's ministry, outreach, worship through music, Bible study classes, whatever - and everything is so segregated in many of our church communities. Then once segregated, different 'parts' are given different values. It all gets so complicated if we let it.... and what's amazing to me is that we... simply by making a decision that something is important.... can make something important. We have that much power and free will. Scary! Even if in God's eyes it is not important --- we can make it more important in *our* lives or our community simply by saying it is so (not always in words!).

Many times it's not like we sit and make a list of what's important and then rank them -- but it happens without us even realizing. We don't keep track of where our pennies are going so before we know it our dollars are gone. We don't keep track of where our minutes are going and before we know it, the days are gone. We make our own realities that are so far from the Truth just simply by where we pour our treasures. Our time & money & gifts. The verse, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also - Matthew 6:21 really speaks to this as well. Wherever you pour your treasures... that's where your heart will be. Whether you like it or not -- wherever you put your treasures, your heart follows. A man's heart will be upon what he treasures most - what he gives the most time/resources/attention/focus.

So ultimately - the goal, I believe, is to allow God to change, mold and conform us to Him to such a point that what is important to Him, is important to us. If we allow, He will make what is most important to Him... most important to us.

It seems to me that He has made it really simple for us, This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:38 - 40. All our decisions and priorities must be filtered through these 2 commandments. Are we upholding these two above all else?

What am I making most important? What sort of reality am I living in that isn't based on Truth? What do my church or spiritual leaders make most important that is being passed on to the community?

[Regarding this example of churches..... it's just an example. I'm not saying that these components of some church communities are not right/good because they are... but when they become more important than the 2 greatest commandments...rather than support beams for them then there lies the problem. What should be talked about is the gospel message and those 2 greatest commandments constantly and when other items are talked about - the ways to the mean, they must always be talked about how they relate to the bigger picture/purpose. Nothing can be given greater importance than those 2 greatest commandments]


Al said...

It's so simple, and so profound.
So obvious, and so overlooked.

What, just love God and love each other? But but but... That can't be all there is to it, or is it?

Good words, RJ.

Thorn-67 said...

So enjoying reading your stuff. I can see that you are going thru a metamorphosis...a paradigm shift etc. Do you remember some of our earlies exchanges on Kathy's blog...?
I don't know if I've made much progress...some days are good...while at other times I am sure I am going backward. I can truly sense that you are on your own unique journey here...and I do consider you a fellow sojourner in it all! Glad to know you sister.

Randi Jo :) said...

Thanks you all :) I replied on the other post to you Joy :)

jeleasure said...

Randi Jo,
I like what you are saying, here. And, I am also aware of another blogger who has recently written on the same topic.

Do you know Tamela? Tamela's place has a recent post that discusses the two greatest commandments to love god and love one another.

I hear you on the plank business. And quite honestly, here is the deal; we are made for community. In God's word, we are told to "admonish" one another; "carry each other's burdens", "All scripture is useful for teaching and making corrections".

God has already decided what is important and that is "Be holy as I am Holy". Take that into consideration when we read the two Greatest commandments.

Now you say, "wait a minute, Jim. Which is important? The two greatest commandments or to be Holy as God is Holy'.

That's it. They are not separate. Love for your brother includes helping oneanother to have a relationship with God. We must be living by God's standard or we are not His family.

James asks, "how can you say you love God if you hate your brother?"

There is no love for God if you do not care enough for Him that you would go out and tell a wayward child of God, to restore his relationship with the Lord. Restore the relationship by repenting from the life that is antithetical to
God's standard.

You don't have to believe me if you don't want to. I used to live my life the way I wanted to. I was frustrated with two of my Christian friends until they said, "You may be a Christian. But, given the life you live, you are a Christian on your way to hell". (that is not directed at anyone. I just stated it to help you understand, it is very iportant that we do not take for granted the Love of Christ and get saved, but fail to keep the relationship.

Don't listen to smooth sounding messages. Don't take the chance to miss the opportunity. Remember the story of the good Samaritan? Well, the people who passed by were being obedient to the law. They did not defile themselves. However, in failing to reach down and pick the man, a human being God's child up out of the ditch, that hurt their relationship with God. (kinda allegorical. Almost not the same thing. Were talking about rescuing someone from failing in their relationship with God. If we don't try, we fail in our relationship with God, because we have failed to help restore one of God's children to a relationship.
Pox on those arguments to stay out of another Christian's trouble or sin. It does God no good for us, those who have been commissioned to make disciples of all nations to do nothing.

Study the advent wreath. I have a story about it in my Richmond Evangelical Examiner blog.