By Donna Hughey

As believers, we know we’re supposed to put God first. Scripture reminds us over and over again that nothing we do, say or believe should come before God. In fact, the very first commandment God gives is, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

Even Jesus teaches that our highest priority should be our faith. Listen to this, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sister—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). Of course Jesus is not teaching believers to hate their families; he’s using this extreme exaggeration to show that a person must love him above all else, including those who are most precious to us — our family.

While most of us like the idea of making God a priority and know it’s important to our faith, are we actually doing it? Do we place God above everything else in our lives? Is God above our family, our money, or our jobs?

Not all believers struggle in this area, but there are many who do. After all, walking down the road of Christianity can be hard and difficult, especially with everything the world throws at us. But there are a number of things we can do to help make God a top priority in our lives.

First, we need to make a commitment. That means we need to decide whether placing God first in our lives is important enough to change a few things and give up some of the activities we might otherwise engage in. We all know change isn’t easy or automatic, but making a solid commitment to place God above all else is the first step.

Second, we need to set a few spiritual goals. And although these goals will vary among individuals, things like reading our Bibles, going to church, or joining a Bible study are practical ways of helping us spiritually. For instance, don’t just say you wish you could read your Bible more; set up a specific time and then do it each day. And with regards to church or Bible study, why not actually attend every week? Forget all the excuses, why not change your attitude and realize that worshipping out in the open and in public is a great gift from God? Take advantage of that.

Third, we need other people who share in our Christian faith. Whether it’s family, friends, or the church body, we all need to depend and lean on others when things get hard and life becomes a struggle. By having others who understand our Christian faith and who are walking down the same Christian road, we have a better chance of receiving support and encouragement when those tough times hit full force. Nothing compares to having Christian family or friends who love us, influence us, and challenge us; it can make all the difference.

So make a commitment today to improve your relationship with God and make him a priority in your life. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

And have your actions be a reflection of that commitment.

Donna Hughey is an award-winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.