By Titus Edwards
Tommy was the team’s second baseman and third best hitter. Unfortunately on this Wednesday night, the game had started late and was running long. They were losing 3 to 2 in the 5th inning and it was already 7:20. He was worried that church would be starting soon and the game would not be over. What should he do?
Karen was the first chair in the flute section. A concert by the band was to be given next Monday. But the church had scheduled a gospel meeting that week. The band director always required all students to be present at the concerts or their grade might be affected. What should she do?
These situations are common occurrences today. Most all young people who are Christians and involved in social things like sports, band, chorus, etc. will face this kind of dilemma. For many young people, the decision is no real problem. Their social activities involve a commitment and they see no problem in doing those things over their religious service. But for many of you it is a real problem! It should not be a problem just because you are worried what your parents (or others) might say if you did not go to church. It should be a problem because you yourself are truly concerned about your service unto the Lord as a Christian.
Let me suggest that the key to finding the answer to these dilemmas is keeping our priorities straight. Let us remember why we are here to start with. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). While God wants us to enjoy life, we are here first and foremost to serve Him. We must “. . .seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33). The “these things” that will be added of this verse, involve the necessities of life, like food, shelter, clothing. If Christ is teaching us to put our service to God above even seeking life’s necessities, what do you think He would say about life’s extra, social affairs, like sports, band, etc.?
And let us not just talk about attending services. We can get ourselves so busy with social things that we have no time for Bible study, doing good works, helping others, etc. that we as Christians should be making the time for! Paul spoke of some who were ” . . . lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:4). Let us not be in that category. Get your priorities straight! Truly love God with all of your heart that you will put His service before anything else in life!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 21, p. 664
November 1, 1984