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Faxes and computers. The Internet and websites. E-Mail and CompuServe. Church, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, soccer, basketball, golf, tennis, judo, Tai KwanDo and handbells. Church choir and deacon’s meetings. The list is endless.

Do any of these sound familiar? Do all of these sound familiar?

It seems that in the late 20th century the Christians are running the same race that the non-Christian is running and both are loosing the race. As some have said, "it is a rat race and the rats are winning." Many Christians are not able to be involved in any type of spiritual growth during the week because they and their children, mostly the children, are so involved in activities that every afternoon and night are filled with "good" things to do. It is not uncommon to hear, "I have 3-5 nights filled with activities, it is impossible to be involved in a Bible study." This says a lot to our children about the priorities of life.

What are your priorities in life? Do you know what they should be? Lets take a quick look at a few Scriptures and see what they say.

First priority: Matt. 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you."

This tells us that the first thing we should seek is a relationship with God; nothing should be allowed to interfere. This includes all the things listed above and a myriad of others that would "enter in and choke off the Word so that it becomes unprofitable."

Second priority: 1 Tim. 3:4 "He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity." Here we see that before a man can have a position of leadership in the church, he must have his own family under control. If a man cannot control or direct his own family, how can he direct the church? Many times this is overlooked as a position must be filled in a church. You see, you don’t get a job of leadership in the church and then get your family in order, they are to be in order before you get the job.

Third Priority: Ecc. 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might;" 1 Tim. 5:8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever."

We see from this verse that it is very important that the husband be a provider for the family. If he is not then he is worse than the unbeliever. This does not put the ministry ahead of providing for the family. If a person is so involved in the job or ministry that they do not have time to provide for their family or teach and discipline their children, then they do not qualify for spiritual leadership.

Fourth priority: Matt. 28:19-20 "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." These two verses are known as the Great Commission and basically apply to all of us. We should be involved in spiritual things that will change our lives and the lives of those around us, especially those of our children.

Please do not let yourself become so busy in the activities of life that you completely lose your priorities, lose the joy of training your children and lose the right to be a leader in your church or a spiritual leader to others outside the church.

George Barna, in his book Generation Next makes the following statement: "Teenagers noted that they spend incredibly little time with their family during the week. It is becoming less common these days for a teenager to have time isolated for focused interaction with his / her family members. Most of the time they spend with their family is what you might call ‘family time’: family and TV, family and dinner, family and homework, etc. The lives of each family member are usually so jam-packed that the opportunity to spend time together doing unique activities-talking about life, visiting special places, playing games and sharing spiritual explorations-has to be scheduled in advance. Few do so."

It might be that the best thing that you could do for your family, is to stop some of the activities that keep the family so busy that you never have time to sit and relax and enjoy each other's company, much less teach them about God.

Trying to learn to relax and smell roses,

In Christ
Dr. Louis Hill

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