How Easter Changes Our Priorities

A Baby Changes Everything

There’s nothing like the birth of a child to completely flip your world upside down. Something about holding that tiny little person changes everything. Things that you wouldn’t give a second thought to moments before (like going to see a movie, spending time outside the home after 7, or sleeping) are now not even in the realm of possibility. Time you once devoted to friends or decompressing is now devoted to your kid. Money you would have put towards buying things for yourself is now spent on toys and baby clothes. All your priorities and decisions are viewed through the lens of the baby.

The Transformation of The Apostle Paul

In Philippians 3:1-11, Paul describes what his life looked like before Christ. From an external observer, he was as righteous as anyone could be, “a Hebrew of Hebrews,” he says. Before his conversion, Paul’s priorities were focused on building and maintaining the facade of being a respectable Pharisee. But then the Damascus Road happened—”But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Why? What changed? How could he throw it all away? The things he once considered important lost their luster when he saw the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” The lens through which he viewed his life changed in an instance—”That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

The worth of Christ and the reality of his resurrection power caused Paul to consider his former way of life as worthless in comparison. All the esteem of man wasn’t worth comparing to what he had found in Christ. So he threw his old life away that he might find a new one.

Counting Everything as Loss

Easter did more than slightly adjust the priorities of the Apostle Paul, it turned them on their head. He gave up everything he had been aiming for up to that point. Has Easter done the same for me? Like having your first child transforms how you view your life’s priorities, so should Easter. Everyday choices no longer look so “everyday” in light of the cross and the empty tomb. Should you let your kids take part in all those extracurriculars? Well, maybe so. But maybe not, if it keeps them from attaining the resurrection of the dead. Should you take that promotion? Perhaps, but what if it keeps you from seeing the surpassing worth of Christ? In the light of Easter morning, such mundane choices take on eternal significance. They must.

Daily I ask myself if what I’m focusing on helps or hinders me from seeing Christ for who he is? If it’s not a help but a hindrance, it might be time to count it as a loss. Because there’s no point in all this striving if at the end of our lives we attained what we desired, but what we desired wasn’t Christ.

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