That was the question posed by my Pastor in his Sunday sermon. What do you value?
As I pondered that question, (I ponder a lot) I knew I could answer that fairly quickly. But, I also realized that what is important to me, what is valuable to me, has really narrowed down.
Having ‘stuff’ just isn’t very important to me anymore. In fact, it has been my goal for the last several years to decrease the amount of stuff I have.
Being important, noticed or included has become not so important.
I used to pray for wisdom all the time. That was very important to me. Wanting wisdom is a good thing. But, wisdom has taught me that it is not the most valuable thing.
I quickly jotted down 3 things that I value the most right now.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. ~Hebrews 11:6(NLT)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. ~Proverbs 9:10(NIV)
My relationship with God is my number one priority. That relationship is the foundation of who I am. I am built on that relationship. Before hearing that Jesus loved me and accepting Him as my Lord and Savior, I was a broken mess. My values were skewed. My self-worth was predicated on unhealthy behaviors. I praise and thank God often for saving me when I was 18 years old, before I had children and totally screwed up their lives. Sometime I shake just thinking about the path I was heading down and where that path would have taken my sons. The Holy Spirit rebuilt me. Without faith in God and His goodness I am nothing.
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17:28a (NIV)
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
“Who is my neighbor?” asked an expert in the Law in Luke chapter 10. Jesus replied by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. At the end of the story Jesus asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
My relationships with family, friends, co-workers, are getting more and more precious to me. In the end, relationships are the only thing that you can take with you into eternity. And, they are the only thing of true value that you leave behind.
It is very interesting to me that in the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus is teaching that we should be neighborly even with our enemy.
If you want to change the world treat others with mercy and show them the love of Christ. We should be people of mercy.
Reaching out to others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the ultimate act of mercy. After all, Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice to save them from a lost eternity.
The newly elected Pope, Pope Francis said, “living Holy Week following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves – as I said on Sunday – to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, to be the first to move towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most distant, those who are forgotten, those who are most in need of understanding, consolation and help. There is so much need to bring the living presence of Jesus, merciful and full of love! ” Full Text
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. 1 Timothy 3:1-7
My health has only recently become a major priority. I suppose aging does that. Not taking good care of my health and ignoring some health issues really began to hinder my ability to effectively serve others. And, quite frankly, not taking good care of my health and my weight could indicate that I’m lacking in self-control and not caring for my “household”. After all, isn’t the body our most basic of households?
For a time I began to worry that my recent (over the last year) intense focus on getting my health and weight under control was becoming too much of a priority. I went to the Lord in prayer about it. The Holy Spirit very quickly spoke to my spirit and said, “Laura, if you were treating cancer would you be asking me this question?” I realized then that if the Holy Spirit would compare morbid obesity and diabetes with cancer, I needed to take them just as seriously.
Neglecting my health was not showing wisdom. If I want to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ and have the energy to serve others and proclaim the Gospel, I need to make my health a priority.
Faith, People and Health are only 3 of my top values. Health may not be one of the top 3. It’s just one of the most pressing right now. I pray that FAITH, my relationship with God, and PEOPLE, reaching out to others with the Gospel and with mercy, will always top my list.