Abbott and Costello did a great comedy routine called “Who’s on First.” This blog has nothing to do with that sketch but you should hear it, or hear it again.
So, what ARE we talking about in this blog? Priorities.
In the ministry world, and missions is no exception, a lot of effort and words are used to try to explain what is, or what should be, our highest priority, next highest and so on. You might have heard it this way: Our relationship with God must be first priority. Following, in this order, there’s family, then ministry, and then, if ministry is not your work, work… and then the Broncos (except when the Broncos are in Superbowl 50. Then they get bumped up to second because we all know that if we don’t keep God first they have no chance of winning!). This kind of thinking comes to us from the Greeks… and it is useful in many areas of life… just not in the area of living out our faith.
Here is our take on setting priorities in global work.
When Jesus was asked for the most important commandment he seems to give two as one or, at least, two parts of the same command; “love the God with everything you are and love your neighbor with the same commitment that have for yourself” (our paraphrase). To us, it seems as if Jesus is saying, “Love God with your whole self and here is how you live that out: love your neighbor as yourself (and he goes on to say that our neighbor might be someone we despise). We would launch from this idea to say, loving your neighbor as yourself IS loving God. Giving a cup of water to someone who is thirsty IS loving God. Loving your wife and children IS loving God. Loving God is played out in our daily lives as we love others.
The second reason we believe this to be true comes from Jesus’ last, and new, commandment to his followers. “If you love me, obey me, and here is the main thing I want you to do: love each other, because if you love each other the way I love you everyone will realize you are my followers” (once again, our paraphrase). Clearly Jesus tells us that if we love each other, we are obeying and loving him and we are doing evangelism (ministry) at the same time.
Don’t put loving and caring for your family behind loving God. Love them as if you are loving God. Don’t consider your relationships at work (ministry) of lesser importance than your relationship with God, but as if it is your relationship with God.
There is but one priority, loving God, but it is played out in our lives in an endless number of ways day after day.
Remember, some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb. 13:2).