“I can’t say that I’m always very good at it,” Stan said one morning, “but someone once told me that a vital key to having good relationships, especially in marriage, is to have the attitude that if something is important to the other person, I am to make it important to me.”
“Yeah,” I replied, “I can see that such an attitude might be helpful in drawing ever closer to the other person. If I make important what’s important to the other person, we probably will do more things together.”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And slow learner that I am, I am continually realizing that the exact same attitude is vital to an ever-closer walk with God.”
“Making important to you what’s important to Him?” I said. “That sounds simple and doesn’t seem like it would be too hard.”
“Try it and you’ll find out if it’s hard or not,” Stan replied with a smile. “I know for me that it’s a lot easier to say than it is to do!”
“If that’s true,” I said, “you have any idea why?”
“Same old story, over and over,” Stan replied. “Lack of the basic three steps of discipleship.”
“Denying self, taking up what God has for you to take up, and following. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “Failure to deny what’s important to me apart from God, along with the failure to take up what’s important to Him, and, of course, the failure to follow in making important to me what’s important to Him.”
“But,” I said, “how are people supposed to know what’s important to God so they can know what is to be important to them?”
“What do you think?” Stan asked.
“Well,” I said, “I suppose reading and studying the Bible, spending time with Him in prayer listening to Him, and stuff like that might help.”
“As I think you know,” Stan replied with a smile, “It’s more than ‘suppose’ and ‘might’. I would say it’s absolutely essential in being able to make important to me what’s important to Him! If I don’t know what’s important to Him, how am I going to make it important to me? It doesn’t happen all by itself!”
Bible verses to consider:
And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:35-40.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for wanting to build in me the attitude that whatever is important to you is to be important to me. I confess that too often I do not have that attitude, but have the idea that what I want to do apart from you is more important. Please forgive that foolish approach to living this life you have given to me. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so I will know what’s important to you in order to make it important to me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you made the most important decision you can make, the one that assures that you will spend eternity in God’s presence when your time here is completed? If no, why have you not accepted His free and gracious provision? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing on this side of eternity in making what’s important to God important to you? How about in your relationships with other people? If you sense the need for change in what you consider important, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?