I grew up in a Christian family, went to Church almost every Sunday, and everything else you might expect to go along with that. I don’t know when I learned it, or who taught it to me, but at some point I internalized the idea that God should be first in my life. That wasn’t all.
God first. Family second. Friends third.
It became the general rule for what was important in my life. God comes first. Your family comes second. Then everyone else. I never really questioned it, because it made sense that God should be first. I mean, we’re talking about God. But recently I spent a week as a counselor at a church camp. My co-counselor said something interesting. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
God shouldn’t be first.
At first my brain was like no, that can’t be right. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Of course God shouldn’t be first.
God should be it. First, second, last, everything. All God.
So then what about your family and friends? If they don’t get a place in line, then what? Of course you care about them, and they’re important in your life. They don’t need to be second, because if you’re following God, then you’re already doing what you should be. You’re loving them, respecting them, treating them exactly like they should be treated. The same is true with your friends, your coworkers, and anything else in your life.
Following God brings everything else together, because following God isn’t just about praying or reading your Bible. It has everything to do with how you treat others. And that’s why God doesn’t need to beat out anyone else in line, because if we’re doing what we’re supposed to as Christians, there doesn’t need to be a line at all.
So stop putting God first. Because if you put God at the head of the line, it can be difficult to choose between first and second. Placing God on the same level as people in our lives or other commitments makes it seem like they’re similar in terms of importance. I mean, what’s the difference between first and second, or second and third? How can I pick just one?
Numbering the important things forces us to choose between them, but really, if it’s all about God we don’t have to choose.