Out of Order
Today at baton, I glanced down at my backpack and something caught my eye: a simple black bracelet that reads “I am second.” This bracelet is not something new to me. I’ve had it since going on my first mission trip. Today, it served as a reminder that I am to be second to God and second to others, but not in the way that I have carried out throughout the last several years.
I tend to jumble up the JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself) order pretty often. I tend to put the opinions of people before the needs of people. For example, I need to maintain a high GPA to please this person, I need to perfect a new trick to impress another person, and I should go to the school event because another person expects me to be there. I have made so many life decisions based on the opinion of others.
Where is God in all of this? Many people say to put God first in all things, but very few act this out. If God is calling you to the mission field, are you actually willing to drop everything to follow him or is that just the “Sunday School answer” to the question? Has God actually called you to a particular college, or did you use this claim to try to convince yourself that you made the right choice? These are questions that we all struggle with, but why should we? Would the world look different if we put God first as many times as we claim to? I know individual lives would look different. We are too focused on what we will get out of putting others first. We volunteer to help those in need because it looks good on a resume or we need a certain amount of service hours to continue to be a member of an organization.
Where is my place in the order? Sometimes it is okay to put yourself closer to first. You should not let your desires trump God’s plan, but you should not put yourself on the back burner. Put the needs of others before your own needs and “give the shirt off of your back”, but do not let other’s wants dictate your life. Know the difference between a want and a need. Someone who is homeless likely needs warm food, but your best friend does not need for you to attend the college of their choice. Do not allow others to hurt you because you do not know the difference between wants and needs. Know when to put your foot down and stand up for your desires in life as well as the plan that you know God has for your life.
“In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6