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When Secondary Things Become Primary


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“If we make secondary things primary, they cease to be secondary and become idolatrous.  They have their place.  But they are not first, and they are not guaranteed.  Life is precarious, and even if it is long by human standards, it is short.” –John Piper, This Momentary Marriage

This quote has been on my mind since I read it for the first time about a month ago.  Although Piper was speaking of marriage specifically, I see how this concept plays out in my life as a whole.

I am often guilty of desiring, pursuing, and delighting in good things rather than the best thing.  I long to be more Christ-like; I want to be a better friend; I strive to improve as a wife.  Doesn’t all that sound pretty awesome?

I didn’t notice anything wrong with my thinking until I realized that Christianity isn’t a self-help program.  It’s not primarily about becoming better.  Christianity is primarily about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Because of what He has accomplished on my behalf, I have access to God and stand before Him blameless.

When I fix my gaze on Jesus and what He has done, He becomes the supreme treasure of my life.  He is exalted to His rightful spot on the throne of my heart, and everything else falls into its proper place somewhere beneath Him.  As a result, I am free to enjoy the blessings He’s given me and the work He’s doing in my life appropriately – as byproducts of my relationship with Him, rather than as ultimate things which rival Jesus for my attention and affection. 

Jesus is not a side-note in my quest for godliness.  He is the goal – the ultimate One – and as I desire, pursue, and delight in Him, amazingly enough He works godliness into my life in His way, in His time, for His glory.

Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11



Thanks for the blog. I love CIU and my time in the seminary was wonderful. But this post may represent the kind of "internal perfectionism" or "triumphalistic pietism" that has hurt many people in my congregations. Thinking that "if I just get absolutely right with Jesus in my heart" then "everything else will fall into place" has hurt many folks. That is no different than "if I get all the outward stuff right, God will save me." Its the same thing. Please know that as fallen creatures, our hearts are always filled with mixed motives. We never have Jesus totally and completely at the top of the list. I'm concerned for people thinking that "everything will fall into place." Jesus never promises that. He will always be with us, always love us. Things don't "fall into place" even when we feel close to him. Yet he loves us still. Thanks for this forum for discussion. Blessings, Greg
Posted @ Monday, September 09, 2013 8:39 AM by Greg Goebel
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