© by Joyce C. Lock
God 1st, Others 2nd, Self last... Most Christians believe that's how it should be, whether they practice it or not. Few have problems recognizing when "Me, Me, Me" gets in the way, whether they care to admit it or not.
But, putting others 2nd can get very confusing in relationship to God being 1st. It is God who teaches us how to love others and in so doing, we are loving Him.
However, when we have a passion for caring for the needs of others, you can bet Satan is looking for ways to trip us up and burn us out.
Satan will use that passion against us (where we're being called upon up to 24 hrs. per day to help others in countless ways) until we find we no longer have time for God. Then others get 1st place and God gets nothing. In addition, we haven't met our needs and soon find we no longer have anything left to give.
It would go a long way toward keeping Satan within tight reigns were we to:
(1) spend quality time with God, even if we have to schedule an appointment.
(2) seek God's will, even above the feelings of others.
(3) learn to discern and detach a little from those who manipulate our time with no real intention of following God (while keeping an open door for the time when they don't just want attention, but a real help.)
(4) let go of responsibilities God didn't call us to, works that please man but not Him.
Only when God is 1st does everything else fall into place.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.