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FIRST THINGS FIRST


By:  M. Munroe

The greatest secret to living effectively on earth is understanding the principle and power of priorities. Life on earth holds no greater challenge than the complicating daily demand of choosing among competing alternatives for our limited time. Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities. How we use our time every day eventually defines our lives. Life was designed to be simple, not complicated, and the key to simplifying life is prioritization. So then, what is the principle and concept of priority?

Priority is defined as: the principal thing, putting first things first, establishing the most important thing, and primary focus. It is also defined as placing highest value and worth upon. If our priorities determine the quality of life and dictate all of our actions and behavior, then it is essential that we understand and identify our priorities.

The greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without a purpose—life with the wrong priorities. Moreover, life’s greatest failure is to be successful in the wrong assignment. Success in life is measured by the effective use of one’s time. Your time is important because your time is your life. And the key to effective use of your time is establishing correct priorities. First things first!

The principle of priority is important to the concept of the Kingdom of God. Why? Because if priority is the essence of life, then we should want to know what our priority in life should be so that we can live effectively. It may surprise you to know that most of the people in the world are driven by incorrect priorities that occupy and control their entire lives.

God established His priority at the beginning of creation and made it clear by His own declaration to mankind. Jesus Christ came to earth and reestablished God’s number-one priority. During His first discourse introducing His primary message and mission, Jesus established God’s priority for all mankind with several powerful and straightforward statements: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matt 6:25).

Jesus’ admonition to us not to worry implies that these basic needs for maintenance should not be the primary motivator for human action. Our confidence in our Creator’s obligation and commitment to sustain His creation should lead us to transfer our priority from our basic human needs to the priority of cultivating and maintaining a healthy relationship with His Kingdom and with Himself.

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