Misplaced Priorities

Keith Crosby

"Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:1-5

I love Psalm 127. Sad to say, people often misinterpret and misapply Psalm 127.  People often  misuse Psalm 127 to justify having tons of children because of verses 3-5. Psalm 127 is more about misplaced priorities and the blessings we miss out on as a result of these misplaced priorities than the number of children we have. Human beings frequently put too much effort into projects and undertakings without seeking or depending upon the Lord. We fail to view our world through the lens of eternity. When we do so, we miss out on the Lord's blessings.

Your career or your hobby will not thrive or succeed without the Lord’s involvement and blessing. He and His will must be your priority. If you don’t view things through the lens of eternity, then all your temporal labors will amount to nothing and or fail altogether (v. 1). All the human effort, long workdays, and short nights will produce nothing of lasting value if not done for the glory of God (v. 2). Hard work does not bring spiritual (or temporal) peace (v. 2b). Your peace of mind comes from God only. Only He can provide you with a good night sleep (v. 2b). Only He can provide you with the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Sleep comes more easily to those who put their trust in God rather than in material possessions (v. 2).

This world tempts us to chase hobbies, careers, and personal ambition to the neglect of our families (vv. 4-5). No one ever said on their deathbed, “I should have spent more time on the job and less time with my God, my spouse, and my children.” Our families, particularly our children, are gifts on loan from God. Our blessing comes not in sacrificing time with them to pursue our jobs. Our blessing comes from honoring God by making time for our spouse and children, treasuring them as precious gifts on loan from God (v. 5).

Therefore, we need to ask and answer these questions in our own heart before God. What’s more important, my ‘legacy’ on the job, or the eternal destiny of my children? One thousand years from now what will matter most, a monument with our name on it, a workplace legacy, or rejoicing before the Lord with our saved children in eternity? Is it better to invest time building my resume, or preparing my children for eternity? Children, indeed, are a blessing from the Lord. God will give you as many of these blessings as you can wisely and capably handle. Handling these blessings with care will bring no shame and no regret in the years to come (v. 5). Therefore, establish (or reestablish) the right priorities. Make God’s priorities your own. Start by seeing your world through the lens of eternity rather than the lens of your job, paycheck, or notoriety. Make God’s will and God’s way your priority.

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