Are we “making every effort” to learn all we can about God and godly living? Are we learning to love like God loves us?
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom [at all cost]. Though it cost all you have, [do whatever it takes to] get understanding.
Most of the time, we compartmentalize our lives. We see the different areas in our lives as pieces of a pie. The problem with this analogy is that each piece has equal value, when, in fact, it doesn’t. We would do better to use Paul’s analogy of an archer’s target, “for all have sinned [missed the mark, the bullseye on the target], and fall short of the glory of God [before Christ, we didn’t even aim at the target!].” Romans 3:23. As each concentric circle grows lesser and lesser in value, so do the areas of our lives.
The Lord Jesus is our Target, the bullseye being serving Him and living for Him.
The first ring away from the bullseye represent the necessities of life, which the LORD has promised to us: 31″So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33. This ring also pertains to your spiritual family.
The second ring represent the supplementary things, our bonus items, what we might call discretionary expenditures. We don’t “need” them per say, but we can afford them, so we accrue them. They are secondary to the first ring and are subject to our circumstances as to whether we keep them or not. We hold them loosely as we hold on tightly to Jesus for life. This ring also pertains to relationships outside of our spiritual ones, which can include our natural families. Jesus made this differentiation clear, 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50.
We all have probably heard this analogy before, but DO WE LIVE IT? Do we make Jesus our Target? Do we aim for the bullseye of godly living? Do we trust Him for the necessities of life (the first ring) and hold loosely to everything else (the second ring)? Do we place our spiritual family ahead of our natural family and friends? Learning to “hate” anyone and anything besides Christ is a tough, long and hard lesson (see Luke 14:26-27).
Tomorrow, we will learn how to “keep our eyes on the prize,” the Target, as we study the 2 Peter 1:3-8.