If asked what our national priorities should be, many answers would come forth even from Christians. Some would say the top priority is to impeach the President for his misconduct and alleged lying before the Grand Jury. Others might say that we should give full attention and priority to correcting the economic crisis that is spreading throughout the world.

On a congregational level, we might say our priority should be to get the Family Life Center completed as soon as possible. Others might say we need to get more people involved in ministry. Others might see a priority for doing more mission work, expanding our benevolent programs, etc. All of these things are needed and good within themselves. However, there are higher priorities than any of the above, whether they involve national morality or local congregational needs and issues.

In Colossians 3, Paul sets forth priorities for the Christian that will not only enhance the quality of life on earth, but, above all, will give us a proper perspective for eternity with God. May we all be encouraged to make these our highest priorities: (1) set your heart and mind on things above and not on earthly things; (2) put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed; (3) get rid of any anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language that might still be a part of you; (4) make sure you do not lie to each other.

Once we have set our heart and mind on things above and have put off those things which belonged to our earthly nature, then we can make it our priority to: (1) clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; (2) bear with and forgive each other whatever grievances we may have against one another; Forgive as the Lord forgave us! (3) finally, we can put on the greatest of all these virtues -- LOVE -- which will bind them all together in perfect unity.

As a Christian, I should be concerned with the problems and ills of society. I should be concerned with the growth and work of the local congregation. But my top priority is to clothe myself with Christ, to put on the new man, and then I can be salt and light to a lost world as Jesus commanded. May God help us all to have our priorities in the right place!

Earl Flood

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 1 October 1998

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