What Is Your Top Priority?

Plan now for future success! Invest for the future! Education is for you!

So read the billboard beside the busy freeway. The sign expressed in catchy phrases the main goal of the American public education system— success!

Soon a new school year will begin for millions of young people across the land. One wonders what thoughts might be racing through their minds as they set foot in the classroom.

Perhaps they wonder, “What am I here for? What will the future hold? Will all this study really bring me success? Will I get a job making plenty of money after high school or college?”

Studies made by psychologists and pollsters indicate that what many people want most in life is a money-making job, a home, a little “nest egg” for retirement—in short, financial success and security.

But is financial success really the most important thing in life? Should it be tops on the list of life’s priorities? Does it really give life meaning?

Some seem to think so. They assume that education can solve almost all of the world’s problems. Modern philosophy says we must educate people—then, somehow, war, poverty, hatred, and greed will melt away!

When I was in high school, many years ago, you just weren’t “with it” unless you were out to get all the education you could. High school students were expected to go on to college. Today, we have a superabundance of highly educated people, many with a long string of degrees behind their names. But, are our problems well on the way to being solved? Obviously not! War, crime, government corruption, drug addiction, and immorality are all on the increase. The world seems headed toward chaos, not some bright, man-contrived utopia. The Bible speaks of a time when people will say, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).

Somebody’s priorities aren’t straight. Somebody has missed the real values in life. Education hasn’t been the cure-all for our social ills.

A successful businessman lay dying of cancer. His wife stood beside him, tenderly wiping the sweat from his fever-wracked forehead. His face was contorted in pain. His cries of pain and despair echoed down the long hospital corridors.

You see, he had given all his life to pursue education and a successful career. He neglected his children and was unfaithful to his wife for years. His god was the “almighty dollar.”

Now his “success” no longer mattered. Death stared him in the face. Life had nothing more to offer. He had missed the mark. He discovered, too late, that something other than his success-drive should have had top priority in his life.

He had sought happiness in the wrong things— things that could bring him no peace of mind. He searched for real meaning in life, but did not find the real key to attaining it.

The Bible says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [the necessities of life and happiness too!] shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

God must be the object of our search for true happiness and true wisdom. Success only comes through seeking to serve Him above all personal ambitions.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Your whole life, education included, must be turned over to Christ to be used for His glory. If God’s service and glory is not the center and first purpose of your life, then you’re missing the mark.

All your learning must be centered on the Source of all true knowledge. Take time to study the Bible to find God’s way of success through submission to His Son Jesus Christ. As you surrender to Christ, consider ways of using your education to better prepare yourself to work for Him and for His kingdom. As helpful as some education can be, all will be lost if you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your life.

Make “first things first” your motto. Give Christ top priority in your future. You will never be sorry.

Roger Berry

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