The issue of keeping our priorities straight came up in the 8/1 commissioning service and will come up again when we study the Helmet of Salvation on 8/15. I ran across a great illustration in a file compiled by Pastor Craig Brian Lane. Please take the time to also consider the relevant passages below!
Bill Cowher took over as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992. He quickly showed himself to be a man with a future. The Steelers made the playoffs each of his first several seasons as coach and went to Super Bowl XXX in 1996. One thing that made Cowher an effective coach was that he focused on his priorities. In Sports Illustrated Tim Crothers writes:
After almost every game, every practice, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher drives straight home to his wife, Kaye, and their three daughters. He doesn’t do ads for cars or frozen yogurt. He exists inside his two passions, family and football, exclusive of everything else.
Cowher is so focused that one afternoon he was seated next to a woman at a civic luncheon and politely asked, “What is it you do?”
The woman responded, “I’m the mayor of Pittsburgh.”
Granted, it’s a good idea to know who your mayor is, but Cowher shows us one essential truth: A person cannot focus on everything. A person with priorities must let some things go by the wayside. The more we focus on the Lord, the less we focus on the unimportant things of this world.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” ~Matthew 10:37-39
“For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 11:2-3
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” ~Philippians 3:7-16
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” ~Colossians 3:1-3
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” ~Hebrews 12:1-3