I am often reluctant to quote directly from the Good Book.
It is not due to a lack of respect or devotion to the volume. I would have a similar sensation about reading passages from Moby Dick if historically the Melville work had brought about horrific division and chaos.
But sometimes a particular passage from the Bible needs to be shared in its simplicity–and entirety–to point out how misunderstanding has driven us away from the consensus of what makes things good.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
It is virtually impossible for a theologian to interpret that verse without adding his or her religious convictions, practices and pious overtones.
Yet it’s really quite simple. It’s divided into three sections:
- The kingdom of God.
- His righteousness.
- All these things.
To identify what these mean, you must have an awareness of the overall and abiding principles that are represented.
The kingdom of God is not a church, a belief system or a denominational approach to religion. Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God is within us.
So the first step to establishing priority in our journey is to find ourselves.
The creation story tells us that God breathed into humans the breath of life and we became living souls. So if we can’t find that breath, we don’t know how to breathe. And all attempts we make to find the kingdom of God outside the confines of our own created space are not only futile, but often lead us in the wrong direction–trying to become sanctified without really being holy.
Here is the kingdom of God: I am happiest when I can be strong enough to help others.
- We are not happy when we are weak.
- We are not happy if we have sufficiency and choose selfishness.
The breath of God is the blessing of finding ourselves and then dispensing mercy to others.
We are told to seek this first.
Dare I say that many religious people are so riddled with insecurity and superstition that the only way they know how to express salvation to others is to load them down with guilt, intimidate them over their lifestyle, then stand back and judge their actions. It is a waste of time.
Get happy, be happy, and from that position of joy, find a way to make others happy.
Which brings us to His righteousness.
This is not my righteousness. This is not a general righteousness. This is God’s righteousness.
It doesn’t take too long in perusing the Good Book to discover that God is content when we grow in confidence so we can help others around us whom He would love to touch with His grace.
If you believe that God is stomping around Heaven, angry about the Ten Commandments being broken, you should probably read the Good Book a little more carefully.
“It’s not His will that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.”
Which brings us to the final thought: “all these things.”
While Wall Street and business tycoons try to figure out the secret to accumulating loot, the process is accessible. Satisfied souls who manifest a creative and passionate life become a magnet to material goods.
It’s just the way it works.
Everybody who chases money, fights for money or kills for money always ends up vanquished by those who are stronger. All the things we desire in life will be at our disposal when we find the breath so that we can breathe, become creative and allow our lives to be filled with passion.
So this little journey we have taken in the Gospel of Matthew is summed up best in this way to discover priority:
I will find the breath of God within me, which will enable me to breathe and become strong so I can help others. I do this because God has one great mission statement: help people. And in the process of finding my confidence, being creative and having a passionate life, the opportunity to gain what I need will be readily available.
The producers of jonathots would humbly request a y