"It does not make sense to have sequential priorities in terms of love or even in terms of commitment. We love each person fully. Additionally, we are committed to doing good in all areas of life. Priority thinking is appropriate when we speak of time, however. Time, then is the key. When we couple it with our goals, desires, and responsibilities, we have some priority decisions to make."1
So instead of stacking priorities we should rather view life as centered around God with everything emanating from Him. He should be the center of all that we do. Look at the following scriptures:
Matthew 6:3333 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.2
Matthew 22:36-40 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”3
Philippians 3:7-8 7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…4
There was once a couple in for marriage counseling. As they began to describe their situation to the counselor the conversation moved in the direciton of priorities. The husband explained that he saw his life like a pie with many things, like pie slices, vying for his attention. There was work, his children, his wife, his church responsibilities, parents, etc... Then his wife spoke up and shared therein lies the problem to their marriage. She felt like just a slice of his life when she wanted to be the whole pie or at least involved in the whole pie. When he made decisions at work that impacted the family, she wanted to be a part of those decisions. When money was spent, she wanted input into those decisions. In a similar vein, God doesn't want to just be a part of our life, He wants to be our life, and involved in all aspects of our life.
1 Richard A. Swenson, M.D., Margin: How To Create The Emotional, Physical, Financial, & Time Reserves You Need (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1992), 219-220.
2 Matthew 6:33, NIV.
3 Matthew 22:36-40, NIV.
4 Philippians 3:7-8, NIV.