Jesus, Our Life Coach

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Life comes at us at ever-increasingly higher speeds. There are daily duties, job responsibilities, church meetings, mission opportunities, and family and social activities. Was life meant to be this busy? How do we decide what we accomplish and what we let undone? This article is an introduction to a Life Coach Who will guide us in this life and never lead us astray or abandon us in the rush of life’s activities.
Many books are written to help us to prioritize our lives. Professional coaches can be hired to help us sort through personal life management. They usually require hefty sums of money to evaluate our life and help us chart a course. They begin by helping us establish goals and set priorities. But why should we need a secular coach like this?
Jesus is our perfect personal life coach through His Word. In Matthew 6:33, He says, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. This one eternal focus will set our goals, clarify our priorities, and help us sort through the decisions we must make. We experience constraints: time, money, and energy. We don’t have time to do everything we would like to do. Neither do we always have the money or energy. We must prioritize and pursue things that make the most of our time and resources for God’s kingdom.
One writer said, “Unless each activity we participate in purposefully moves us toward a larger goal, we’ll never get anywhere.” When we face time constraints, we should choose to do what moves us closer to our larger goal. We must use our resources for the things that accomplish most for His Kingdom. We should focus our life’s energy, again, towards the most important and eternal values. If we follow Jesus’ teaching, we will pursue the Kingdom of God first and trust Him to add the lesser values to our lives.
Colossians 3:2 calls us to, Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. And Jesus taught us that where our treasure is, there our heart will be (Matt 6:21). The things that we put first in our lives reveal where our love is. It becomes obvious what we love!
One speaker illustrated these concepts with a glass jar, some fist-sized rocks, marbles, and sand. First, fill the jar with the rocks and then add as many marbles as you can. After that, pour in the sand until completely full. The rocks represent our service to God, His kingdom, and our fellow man. The marbles stand for our material needs. And the sand is the things that make life interesting but are not necessities. Filling the jar in that order gets an amazing amount of all three items in. But if you put the sand and marbles in first, you will get very few, if any, rocks in.
If we pursue the amusements and fun of the world (the sand), we will have little time for God (the rocks) and even struggle providing for the necessities of life (the marbles). That’s easy to see so clearly in this illustration but harder to see in real life. On the other hand, Jesus promised if we put His kingdom first, He will see that the necessities are added to our lives. Do we really believe this? Do we truly trust this promise of Jesus? We should ponder this question, “Can we make a living and make it to every mid-week service at our church?” We should ask our Life Coach. What do we reveal about our love when we neglect gathering for worship with our local brotherhood for personal temporal pursuits?
If we are too tired to study our Sunday School lesson Saturday night, what should we consider? We should have sought our Life Coach’s advice earlier in the week or the day and took some time to study. What does neglecting to study our Sunday School lesson say about our hearts? Is God pleased when we place work ahead of preparation for worship?
If we are asked to serve in church work, schools, or mission efforts, and we wonder how we will provide for our needs, we should ask our Life Coach. Do we believe the promise of Jesus that if we put His Kingdom first, He will provide for us? What do we declare when we choose the temporal over the eternal?
These choices are generally not between good and evil. They are between good and legitimate things. They are often between the good temporal and the lasting eternal. They are between that which we can enjoy now and that which we can take with us into eternity. God has provided many blessings in life that He meant for us to enjoy, but not at the expense of the most valuable. We need the All-Wise, Eternal Coach to direct our hearts in these decisions and His help to keep first things first. In fact, we need Jesus to be our very life, When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory (Col 3:4). Then with this new life in Christ directing our affection and our choices, we will faithfully follow God’s leading. We will walk in newness of life.