January 8, 2021
A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost.” Luke 14:25-28
Did you know that the word “priorities” is really a fallacy? By definition, priority is a singular word. The dictionary defines it as the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others. The word “priority” came into the English language only a few hundred years ago. It was singular and it meant the very first or prior thing. Only in the last century did we pluralize the term priority and start talking about “priorities.” By doing so, we reasoned that we could change its meaning.
Somehow we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we can have more than a single priority at a time. Having multiple “priorities” allows us to think that we can “do it all.” We can give everything equal place. We can’t.
Here’s the thing: When we say that we have “multiple priorities,” we’re really saying that nothing’s a priority. When everything is important, nothing is truly important. That’s what Jesus was saying. He wasn’t telling us to hate ourselves or our families, but He was saying our commitment to Him needs to be so far ahead of everything else that there is no comparison. It is THE priority. That’s the only way we can be His disciple. Jesus and “being a Christian” is not an add-on to life as it is. Being a disciple is total transformation. THE PRIORITY.
Jesus never did “bait and switch.” He was very plain about what it meant to follow Him from the get-go. “If I am not Your PRIORITY, you cannot be My disciple. If you do not carry your cross and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple. It is so important that you understand this. Don’t even start to try to follow Me until you count the cost and are prepared.” How do you do that?
Determining what is your priority isn’t difficult or vague. Either something is your priority or it’s not. If you think you know the priority, what have you sacrificed today that shows it? Priority is determined by what you do, not what you say you do. In other words, your actions define your priority. If what you’re doing is at odds with what you’re saying your priority is, then you need to close that gap by being honest with yourself and evaluating your actions and motives. No better time than now. Count the cost.
- We say that Jesus will be anything you need Him to be. But He will not be second place. Talk to Him about how He sees your relationship.