Chapter 9: The Most Important Thing

What makes you get up in the morning? The bed is warm and comfortable, and it feels good just to lay there, but then you think I must get the kids up for school or get ready for work. The day itself is calling, and the responsibilities of your situation in life are there to motivate you to put your feet on the ground and get ready for the day. Your motivation to act depends on what you deem as important in your life and place value in doing.
The word important describes that which is of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being. What motivates you to do good or bad? What is important to you? A Gallup Poll conducted in 2003 shows that Americans rank their family and health as the two most important aspects of life, among nine measured. Their work, friends, money, and religion are viewed as roughly equal in importance but considerably below the importance of family and health.

While health and family are important, should they be at the top of your personal list? In truth, a person’s actions will show others what matters to them by observing their lives. Action speaks louder than words, and sometimes polls do not actually reflect what a person holds dear in his life. When I was in my career, I always said that family was especially important to me, but that was indifferent to the time I spent with them versus work and recreation. My wife would bring this to my attention, but I would deny her allegations because I believed in the sincerity of my words without sincerely examining my actions because I had a good reason. I needed the money at work and was excellent at sports, or so I thought.

From a worldly perspective, there is nothing wrong with ambition at work or friendly competition on the ball field. Also, my wife was not selfish to question my motivations when I gave her a vow at our marriage ceremony to cherish her and honor the union that resulted in a family with two girls. You can compromise priorities to satisfy what you want to do if you think you have a good reason, but what does it do to your testimony about your values in life? Your words become invalid and meaningless. People cannot trust you to make their relationship a priority in your life.

Here are some quotes from people about what is important to them in life. “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it’ll always get you the right ones.” ― John Lennon. “If your goals aren’t big enough to scare you, they’re not important enough to get you to do the work.” ― Richie Norton. Time is the single most important resource that we have. Every single minute we lose is never coming back.” ― Tarun Sharma. “The truly important things are those that make you happier if you share them than if you keep them for yourself.” ― Neus Figueras. “There are tons of things I could and probably should be doing for work right now. But at some point, you have to put it aside and get busy with the things that really matter.” ― Lisa Wingate. “Life is not only an important thing; it is everything.” ― Debasish Mridha, MD.

Most of these quotes come from authors, so you can see why I like them. There is a common theme within a great quote about the important things of life that ring true to me. The most meaningful quotes involve relationships. Our relationships are the most critical things in the world. They can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. How we treat and communicate with others defines us as a person both in failure and success. When we succeed, do we get puffed up? When we fail, do we blame others? In my life have been guilty of both. Relationships are not easy, sometimes. Connections with others can be painful and frustrating, but sometimes they can be joyful and even pleasurable.

Divorce courts and psychiatric sitting rooms are full of people that do not know how to cope with personal relationships. There is a multitude of reasons that people fail in dealing with others. Some cannot manage without an alcoholic drink or pharmacy helper. We are a drug-induced society that has not realized how meaningful relationships are and how we were created to be social creatures. There are many examples in the bible of strained relationships; one the first was between Cain and Able.

Able kept flocks of domestic animals; the best guess is they were sheep. Cain worked the ground and produced what the bible calls fruits of the soil, which could have been vegetables or grain. They both brought an offering to the Lord; Able brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. At the same time, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. For reasons that are not made clear, God accepted Able’s offering but rejected Cain’s fruits of the soil. Cain was infuriated and, in anger, attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

The second example of a strained relationship was between the brothers’ mother and father, Adam, and Eve. At some point after creation, Eve was tempted by the serpent, which was used by Satan to deceive her into believing that the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was pleasurable to eat and desirable to make one wise. In disobedience to God, she did eat and then gave to her husband Adam, and he did eat. They both failed and strained their relationship with each other and God.

These examples of relationships show us the key to success, and the most crucial thing in the believer’s life is our relationship with almighty God. After his offering, which was rejected, Cain was then approached by God, who said to him, “Why are you angry? Why is your face, downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” God gave him a path to acceptance and fellowship with his brother and the Lord himself. Cain rejected the relationship with God and committed the first recorded murder.

Adam and Eve perverted their relationship by not obeying and trusting the Lord of creation who walked among them in the cool of the day, as the bible says. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 says, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression.” So, it is clear to me the woman sinned through ignorance, but the man had full knowledge of his transgression. His sin was more significant because of his position of authority placed by God and the fact he was to protect the things that the Lord had put in his charge. Adam and Eve did not honor their relationship with each other and, to a greater extent, the Creator who brought them together in the beginning.

There are so many more examples of how important the relationship with the Creator is. Isaac and Rebekah had been married for nearly twenty years, but they had no children. Isaac knew the Lord had promised that Abraham would have many descendants, so he prayed for the blessing of children. The Lord answered Isaac’s plea.

When Rebekah was about to give birth, she felt a strange struggle within her, and she was worried. In answer to her prayer, the Lord revealed to her that she would have twins and that each child would become the leader of a separate nation. One nation would be stronger than the other, and the older child would serve the younger. Esau and Jacob were borne with Esau first, but Jacob was grabbing on to his heel; thus, the younger brother was named Jacob, which means to follow, be behind, and supplant.

Esau grew into a man that rejected his birthright for a bowl of soup and showed disrespect for the things of God. Although he became a nation of people great within the Middle East region, God rejected him as the line that would give birth to the messiah. His relationship with God was compromised because he placed no significant value in fellowship with the Lord.

While Jacob was a deceiver and schemer, he learned great lessons from God through his hardships and interaction with the Lord. He eventually wrestled with an angel and had his name changed by God to Israel, which means ‘Wrestles with God.’ He is the father of twelve children who become the Twelve Tribes of Israel who inherited the promised land. This land God promised and gave to Abraham and his descendants. With Jacob, his relationship with God was very important in his heart, and for this, God accepted him.

God’s interaction with those in the bible shows us the character of both God and humankind. In all cases found within the pages of the Word, God is and was the preeminent source for truth, peace, mercy, and all things that benefit humanity. His ways are above our understanding in the moment of decision and beyond our ability to comprehend unless we have a relationship with him. It is the most important thing to have fellowship and relationship with God as the lesser being in humility, gratitude, and praise. In reality, the Lord chose us while we were still in sin and rebellion against him to be with him and have a relationship.

Without question in my mind, if God exists and has provided a way to know him, that undertaking should be significant to us. The Father God provided his promises of a savior, and Jesus paid the ultimate price for that relationship with humankind. And by the power of his Spirit, we are born again from above. How important was it to the Godhead to have a personal relationship with us. Rejection of God’s mercy is illogical in the eternal values. The world is not all there is, and God’s gift is eternal life with Him. Communion with God was our maker’s goal from the beginning, and his love for us is the reason behind the Creator’s actions.

Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) fulfilled the contract of fellowship on the cross and through his resurrection and finally by his ascension to the right hand of the Father God where he intercedes for us. The price for redemption was set high because of the depth of sin, and Jesus fulfilled all that was required to restore our fellowship with the God of the universe. The possibility of a relationship with God is there for those he has called. If you hear this call of the Holy Spirit, answer it with a resounding yes and say, I believe on he who was sent to deliver us from the house of bondage and sin. Lord, help us honor you with our life in a relationship with you built on the Rock of Ages, Jesus the chief cornerstone.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16