The Main Thing
In his bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the points of emphasis Stephen R. Covey makes is the importance of prioritizing things in our lives. As he puts it: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
It seems to me that this is one of the great challenges we face. There are so many things demanding our time and attention. It is possible to void the sinful things of the world and yet get entangled in “good” endeavors that are only temporal.
Jesus calls upon us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33). Yet if we are not careful, we can easily allow the “cares of this life” to choke out our spiritual growth. (Lk 8:14)
The apostle Paul compared our lives to that of soldiers engaged in a spiritual battle. In this vein he reminds us that: “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2Tim 2:4)
The time will come (perhaps sooner than we think), when we will wonder why we cared so much about things that are of no eternal consequence.
Indeed, it is critical that we “Keep the main thing the main thing.”
- Leonard White
Controlling the Untamable
The following was reportedly seen on a tombstone:
Beneath this stone, a lump of clay
Lies Arabella Young
Who on the 21st of May
Began to hold her tongue.
How would you like to be remembered in that way? If we would be totally honest, we would probably all have to admit that there have been times, when we should have held our tongue, but did not.
James chapter 3 says concerning the tongue: “A small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things . . . how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! The very world of iniquity, the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. No one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.”
That last sentence should cause us to think. Unlike animals, the tongue cannot be tamed. It must be bridled, or controlled, at all times. It has great potential, for both good and evil.
Don’t be like Arabella Young. Don’t wait until your body is in the grave to begin controlling your tongue.
Do Like He Done !
A newly-hired salesman named Gooch stunned his superiors with his first report, which read: “I seen this outfit who ain’t never bought a dimes worth of nuthin from us an I sole them sum goods.” Before he could be fired, a second letter arrived. It read: “I came to Chicawgo an sole them haff a millyon.”
The sales manager dumped the problem into the president’s lap. The next day the staff was amazed to see the salesman’s letters on the bulletin board, along with this memo from the president:
We ben spendin two much time tryin to spel insted of tryin to sell. I want everybody should read these letters from Gooch, who is doin a grate job, and you should go out and do like he done !
Is it possible that in trying to reach others with the gospel, we sometimes get so preoccupied with appearances that we lose sight of our primary goal? Do we focus more about presenting the gospel in a flawless manner, than we do on its power to save? How much better is a stumbling presentation of the gospel that points sinners to Christ than a formal, precise address that leaves them unmoved!
When looking for opportunities to teach others, remember the priorities of that salesman. Then go out and “do like he done!”
(Selected and adapted.)
When we receive a much needed rain, we do not give thanks to the clouds, but rather to the God who created them and gave them the ability to produce precipitation. Whenever we do some deed of service to another person, the glory should go God, who is responsible for our very existence and for any ability or resources we may possess.