Testing Our Priorities

“Why do I have so little money?”

“Why do I have so little time?”

“Why do I have such limited resources?”

We have all faced questions like this at one time or another. We have good intentions. We have noble plans. But many times things fall through because we have limited resources, and we have no way to accomplish everything that we want to accomplish.

God loves us. So why doesn’t He just wave His hand and give us an unlimited supply of money, time, and every other resource we might need? He is God, so it would not be difficult for Him to do. Is He just being stingy?

Imagine what would happen if He did that very thing. Imagine that every member of your church became a billionaire overnight. Money is literally unlimited. What might they say if money was no object?

“Are you going to pay off your bills?”

“Of course!”

“Can you give some money for the poor?”

“No problem!”

“Can you give some money to the church?”

“Sure thing!”

It is easy to be generous when funds are unlimited.
It is easy to be responsible when no sacrifice is required.

In principle, few people are opposed to the idea of paying bills, giving alms, or supporting their church. It is rare that a pastor will preach on giving to the needy, and receive open disagreement from anyone in the congregation.

Instead, people just don’t get around to helping out, because they “can’t afford it.”

While this world may be far from perfect in regard to our comfort, this world is a perfect place for God to test our priorities, for it is only in the crucible of scarcity that our heart’s deepest priorities are truly revealed.

If everyone had unlimited money, everyone would probably support the church and generously donate to multiple charities. If everyone had unlimited time, they would probably use some of that time to spread the Gospel, to visit the sick, and to encourage the poor and downtrodden.

But when time and money are limited, that is when our priorities receive a true test.

When your bank account is tight, do you still give a tithe to your church? Do you still give alms for those who are poorer than you? Do you still practice self-sacrifice and love for others?

When you are pressed for time, do you still introduce people to Christ? Do you still study the Scriptures? Do you still help family and friends who are in need? Do you still pray daily with your children?

You say that you love your family, you love your friends, and you love your church.

You say that you love Jesus more than anything.

But if I were to look at your calendar,
and if I were to look at your bank account,
what love would I see reflected there . . .
love for God and His people? or love for yourself?

What are your true priorities?


About Fr Joseph Gleason

I serve as a priest at Christ the King Orthodox Mission in Omaha, Illinois, and am blessed with eight children and one lovely wife. I contribute to On Behalf of All, a simple blog about Orthodox Christianity. I also blog here at The Orthodox Life.
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