1) Love God.
2) Love others.
3) Love yourself.
That's it. Really. It's that simple.
Not convinced? Jesus put it another way:
"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" Matthew 22:34-40Have you ever seen the acronym for the word "JOY"?
It is a little corny, but it's true.
When we have our priorities in the right order--in this order--good things will happen. GREAT things will happen. When God is first in our lives, everything else will fall into place.
How does this play out in our everyday lives?
My prayer every morning is, "God, let me honor and glorify you today, in everything I say, do and think." Putting God first means doing everything for him. It means making him the most important person in our lives.
Then comes everyone else.
And "everyone else" has to be prioritized, too. If you're married, this means your husband (or wife) should come first after God. Not your boss, your coworkers, your friends, your teachers, or your parents. Your husband. If you're a mother (or father), your children are next, after your spouse. Then your family, friends, and everyone else.
Then you. This doesn't mean that you neglect yourself entirely for the sake of other people. I'm not suggesting or condoning that at all. Of course you need to eat, bathe, and rest--and take time to do things for yourself. Notice Jesus didn't say, "Love your neighbor just like you love God." He wants all that love for himself. :) No, he said "Love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus doesn't want us to hate ourselves! In fact, in Ephesians Paul wrote, "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church..." (Ephesians 5:28-29).
We are to love everyone else just as much as we love ourselves: taking time for them, doing things for them, taking care of them, treating them with love, kindness and respect.
This will play out differently in each person's life. My usual morning routine is, make breakfast for my husband, have devotions with him and pray together, and after he goes to work I do my writing and blogging for the day.
I don't keep this to-do list perfectly, of course. I struggle every day with putting God first. It's easy to remember that my husband needs clean clothes, good food, and time with me, but God doesn't have the same physical presence...so he's easier to forget, unfortunately. But that's no excuse on my part.
The wonderful thing about all this is, God will and does bless us when we put him first. And even when we fail, he still loves us, blesses us, and forgives us far more than we could ever ask or imagine.
Linking up with these lovely ladies today:
New Life Steward; Women Living Well; To Love, Honor and Vacuum; Deep Roots at Home; A Wise Woman Builds Her Home; Raising Homemakers; The Houtz House Party