Focusing on the real priorities
Read Mark 8:31-38
"He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.'" —Mark 8:34-35
Reflection: Most people have attempted to make significant changes, be it in one’s family, church, workplace or community, have faced opposition. They have found themselves rejected by those around them. Those we look to now as great leaders, Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez or Dorothy Day, all suffered many things and were rejected by many of those in power. So too Jesus suffered and was rejected. His closest friend, Peter, took him aside and advised him to stop irritating the powers in society so much.
The text says that Jesus rebuked Peter. He told Peter, “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Isn’t that the case with most of us? We care too much about what people around us will say about us or think about us and not enough about God’ concerns. Jesus calls his disciples to “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. “
In this Lenten season, may we focus on God’s concerns and not just our own. May we find the courage to focus on the real priorities regardless of what is popular behavior.
By Kim Bobo, IWJ Founding Director
Pray: God, help me to focus on your concerns. Help me to love You and love my neighbor. Give me the courage and strength to do what is right regardless of what others think.