Tan: Quiet heart and godly priorities

WHATEVER you put first in life greatly affects the rest of your life. Priorities are spiritual decisions, spiritual decisions come from spiritual conversations—then it becomes your lifelong pursuit or your spiritual commitment. Having wrong priorities results in living the wrong life... but how do you determine and define which to put first? This is why a quiet heart is necessary to give us a wider space to hear God as He shapes our priorities in life.

Resist the temptation to segregate the secular and spiritual, the sacred and the secular because there is no such divide. Making priorities is a spiritual choice which affects the rest of life. With a Quiet Heart we earnestly seek, we continually ask God to grant us sensitive hearts and tough skins to stand and live out godly priorities. We also ask for grace that we may make it a personal space rather than a venue in which we force others into.

It is also important to understand and really reflect that it is also equally disastrous when we assume for a long time that we have godly priorities because you are in the ministry or in a noble advocacy. We need a quiet heart to listen to the voice of God and to allow the standards of the Scriptures to test our priorities. With a Quiet Heart we humbly repent and change our course thus letting God arrange our private world, and this time walk in rhythm with His grace.

Solomon helps us in making Godly Priorities... something we quietly learn without the pressure to perform so that a good image is preserved. We reflect because we are cultivating a love relationship with God and it all starts in the heart before the mind and the will reveals it as a lifestyle. Quietly understand the real issue that the making of Godly Priorities is not about money ... it is not about the lack of it nor the abundance of cash—it is really about the Love of money! Are you in a love affair with money?

Solomon, Jesus and Paul gave similar warnings. Jesus said you cannot serve God and money (Matt. 6:24). Paul reminded Timothy to be careful and to boldly instruct the church that it is the love of money the root of all evils (1 Timothy 6:10).

It is so interesting to note that when it comes to loving money, Scripture highlights those who say they love God rather than those are indifferent toward God. I think God can accept a straight No as an answer to making godly choice rather than a halfhearted "yes".

What are signs that the love of money rules in our hearts? Just like any other love affair, it begins with attraction before it becomes an addiction. One will have a deep affection with money ... then it becomes a deep-rooted attachment to money... the rest is history.

The desire to have more and the envious heart because others have more are unmistakable evidences of this addiction. The issue is not having wealth, it is about hoarding it. The one who hoards wealth is hurt more than the one who shares it with others. Quietly and sincerely heed the wisdom of simplicity and contentment and do not underestimate the long or the lifelong consequences of having ungodly priorities.

Let me give you some examples of these long and painful consequences: The absence of rest amidst material abundance; the absence of authentic relationships; living a friendless and an uneventful life. There is truth in the saying that people who love power is no longer capable of engaging in any intimate relationship. I think it also applies to those who love money ... the absence of simplicity and contentment because of greed—nothing is ever enough. Greed does not permit anyone to enjoy anything. Life is not all about possessions, it matters a lot to know who or what possessed you.

Finally, quietly and gratefully unfold God's gifts of grace for you. It is because of greed that we have ungodly priorities. It is because of ungodly priorities we live blinded to the gifts of God that money cannot buy. It is our preoccupation to the second-rate things which deny us from seeing the first. God's gift of grace is unrelenting yet only the eyes of faith can appreciate its true value. Pause and think ... these precious gifts of God are not things! The gifts of love, laughter and freedom are not for sale in any mall. So is the gift of wisdom to see things from the point-of-view of God. The gift of discernment which helps us know the difference between good and godly. The gift of gladness that overflows... making us forget our miseries and enables us to move on despite our many mistakes. Many will say this is true but in the heart, the love affair with money is still burning.

Let me end with these admonitions. With a Quiet Heart submit to the scrutiny of the Spirit and to the authority of God's word to redefine your priorities. With a Quiet Heart, humbly learn from the scars of others and in brokenness live with your scars. Lastly with a quiet heart submit to God's holy chaos and radical subtraction that will simplify what you have complicated.

Thanks for reading... as for me, I need to have a long talk with God regarding priorities. I write from a quiet heart.
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