The Priorities of Jesus
Jesus set priorities for Himself, for His disciples, and for us—many of them non- negotiable. As noted in the previous chapter, for instance, He rank-ordered two values:
Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
But rank-ordered values alone won’t accomplish your family’s purpose or turn your picture of the future into reality. You need to translate those values into behaviors. That’s what Jesus did throughout His three-year public ministry.
Here’s just one case in point:
Later Jesus was going about his business in Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea because the Jews there were looking for a chance to kill him. It was near the time of Tabernacles, a feast observed annually by the Jews.
His brothers said, “Why don’t you leave here and go up to the Feast so your disciples can get a good look at the works you do? No one who intends to be publicly known does everything behind the scenes. If you’re serious about what you’re doing, come out in the open and show the world.” His brothers were pushing him like this because they didn’t believe in him either.
Jesus came back at them, “Don’t crowd me. This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose. The world has nothing against you, but it’s up in arms against me. It’s against me because I expose the evil behind its pretensions. You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.” (John 7:1-8, msg)
Jesus filled His schedule and picked His battles according to His priorities—choosing on one day to heal, on another to teach, on another to spend time alone with His Father. Doing the same in your family will show your kids how to live out your family values, allow them to be accountable, and help you measure their progress.
True success in servant leadership depends on how clearly the values are defined, ordered, and lived by the leader.
Your Family Values
Every family needs three or four core values to stand on—and to set priorities. Why only three or four? If you really want to affect behavior, you can’t empha- size more because people can’t focus on that many.
Pause & Reflect
If someone who didn’t know you asked what your family’s values are, what would you say?
If that person asked how you live out those values as a family, what could you point to as evidence?
To Do or Not to Do
When I think about our family, the core values that come to mind are ser- vice, compassion, and evangelism. Those words summarize our work in the preg- nancy center, in children’s church, and even in my writing and my husband’s current ministry job.
When I asked my 19-year-old daughter what three words she thought sum- marized our core values, she chose service, transparency, and hospitality. This made me smile; even though we used different words, they reflected the same idea. The values were part of us. As a family we love to serve others, open our hearts, share our lives, and share our faith.
The activities we get involved in reflect our belief that our family isn’t just on earth to make ourselves comfortable, but to reach out to others in need. Without realizing it, John and I put a focus on these values not only by our words but also with our behaviors.
A wise man noted that it was only in the past century that the word priority went plural. Jesus had one priority: glorify God. When we apply His priority to our lives and families, it gives an added level of purpose to our decisions. For example, we might say, “In our family we seek to glorify God by living out our values of service, transparency, and hospitality.”
Often we learn what our values are when we follow God and heed His direction for our lives—not before. We discover them as we dedicate our time and resources to Him. The process works like this:
Life, family, and leadership are all about choices. What do you stand for? How have you chosen family activities to match?
You’ve been reading from Lead Your Family Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard, Tricia Goyer, and Phil Hodges. Learn more HERE.