Why is it we invite Jesus to be Lord of our life, only to relegate Him to a second class citizen? I’m assuming most Christians would deny they treat Christ as anything but the most important part of their lives, but our actions speak otherwise. The reality of this smacked me in the face recently. I was running a little behind the morning of an important business meeting.
As I was about to step into the shower, it occurred to me I had neglected to have my regular prayer time that morning. I rationalized I would spend time with God after getting ready and printing out the paperwork I needed for the meeting. After all, my mind would be too distracted to pray at that point anyway. I needed to get the things that “had” to be done first.
Here is the proof I had relegated God to a second class citizen: I considered those things that were “urgent” in my life to be more important than the apparently “optional” obligation of spending time in prayer with my Creator. To finish my sad but true tale, I naturally ran out of time to pray, but I did make it to my meeting on time. I had played the role of Martha instead of Mary (Luke 10:38-42). I was more concerned with the busy affairs of my life than I was with spending time in the presence of God.
I have asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, to be in control of every aspect of what I think, say, and do. And yet, when life got a little busy, I had no problem relegating Him to second place. Instead of Him being my Lord, I relegated Him to the sidelines to watch my determined but useless pursuit of things that had nothing to do with building His Kingdom. Instead of demonstrating my devotion to Him and my commitment to be His disciple, I ignored Him. I rationalized the appointments in my life were more time-sensitive than spending time with Him. There is nothing more urgent in your life than spending time in the presence of Jesus. Nothing trumps that. And if it does, we do not understand what it means to follow and love Him.
While there is not a happy ending to my story, the lesson I learned is valuable. If we truly desire to put Jesus first, then we must realize He is more important than anything else going on in our lives. There is Jesus and there is everything else. A true disciple will prioritize their lives around Him. In reality, we tend to treat Jesus as a second class citizen by fitting Him into the spaces afforded by the rest of our life. We squeeze Him into the nooks and crannies of our over cluttered and over busy schedules. Don’t make the mistake of treating Jesus as a second class citizen. He is the first and He is the only. He is first class or He is absent. Jesus is not a second class citizen. He is our hope, our Lord, and our Savior.