September 26, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 11, 2014.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend 

“You Are Not Dedicated Enough!”

Matt. 6:33

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Coaches in professional sports get fired all the time.  Many years ago, the Phoenix Suns of NBA fired Paul Westphal when his team had lost five straight home games and owned a dismal record of 14-19. Perhaps it was because the team’s four starters hadn’t played due to injuries. Only three years before, the same coach had led the Suns to the NBA’s best record and reached the finals. 

Now, one criticism against Westphal was that he was not dedicated enough. His critics noted that he spent too much time with his family as evidenced by him attending PTA meetings. This criticism was similar to what Jimmy Johnson, the famed coach of the Dallas Cowboys who led them to two Super Bowl championships in the 1990s, said about his successor Barry Switzer.  Johnson, who divorced just before taking over the Cowboys to focus on coaching, did not like Switzer flying out to watch his son play college football on Saturday, and then return for his game on Sunday.  Unlike Johnson, Westphal didn’t divorce his family to win. He even admitted that coaching in the NBA was not the most important thing in his life—his family always came first.

Westphal’s example is admirable, even inspiring to busy parents who juggle between family responsibilities and career pursuits.  The apostle Paul, who probably wasn’t thinking about PTA meetings, nonetheless, wrote, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8). While that is a sobering thought, we must guard against family getting in the way of seeking first God’s kingdom, because winning a championship or working to close a deal is not the same as responding to God’s call in our lives.  Sometimes, it may be God’s will that we stay home or work a little longer, but at other times, He wants you “there” to worship or serve God even if you miss your son’s soccer game or daughter’s recital.  When we cannot be there, we trust that “God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28b).  

Is God at the center of your juggling act?  If not, what adjustments (even repentance) are needed to ensure that God doesn’t have to compete for your attention?  Something to think about, and then act. 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to keep my priorities straight and keep me from deluding myself into thinking that I am seeking you when, in truth, I am pursuing other things with more passion and investment. Thank you.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Ephesians 1

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