Ponderizing-Week 4 Thoughts

Jacob 2:18 is the verse that I have been ponderizing this week.

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

What truly holds value to us, determines not only our character now, but what we will have and be after this life. I love the activity used in church to teach this principle. A teacher will place an empty jar in front of the class, along with three containers containing one of three items: sand, small pebbles, and larger rocks. The sand is representative of the things that likely have less true and lasting value, like the riches of our mortal world. The pebbles are those things that matter, but may not continue after this life. Finally, the rocks represent those things that will continue and will develop greater, lasting character, knowledge and happiness. For example, family relationships develop lasting happiness and joy. The teacher then shows the class what happens when a life is filled with the small stuff first. The sand will pile up, filling a good portion of the jar, followed by the pebbles. When the teacher attempts to place the rocks in last, they do not all fit. When we seek after the riches of the world first, we give little room for the things that truly matter. The teacher then removes the three items and begins again, placing the larger rocks in first, followed by the pebbles, and lastly pours the sand into the jar. It all will fit, because the sand will fill in the gaps left by the rocks and pebbles. The lesson is that if we seek for the things of God first, anything else we truly want in life, will not be left out, but will find its proper place.

Seeking after things of this world is not strictly bad, or even forbidden by the Lord. There are specific things that we should avoid, of course, because they are harmful or possibly addictive, but for the most part, the things of the world can be for our good. The point is, that when we use our agency, to seek after those things that will bring us closer to Christ, build meaningful relationships, develop our knowledge and talents, or cause us to serve and love others, anything else that may use our time and energy, will be done in wisdom and will be for our good.

One of the other thoughts that came to mind with this verse, is that it uses the word seek. Seek is a word of action. It requires effort, planning, and decisions. We should be active in our lives, choosing how we will live rather than allowing life to happen to us. We have the power to choose for ourselves, to what we will give our best efforts. I feel it is an eternal truth, that good choices require greater effort on our part. It is easy to choose those things that are not lasting and may not be for our good. Self-mastery is needed to choose to seek the things of God.

A simple example of this in my own life, is with scripture study. I have decided that study of the words of the prophets of old and modern prophets, is a priority in my life. I believe that it is extremely important to determining the kind of person I will be, and I know it is actively seeking for the kingdom of God. I have been asked many times about how I manage it with my already busy life. My answer always includes something about making the effort to put it ahead of other things, meaning putting it on my schedule. When I plan what my day will include, prayer and study are placed first. Because I have a life devoted to several small children who have places to be and things to do, I choose to sacrifice some additional sleep in the mornings to give a consistent place for study. It is never easy to do, but I know that God can bless me for the effort I am putting towards it. As I actively seek after the word of God, other priorities and desires seem to fall into place.

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

President Thomas S. Monson has said that “decisions determine destiny”. I know this is true. What we choose this day can either lead us closer to God and His kingdom, or turn us from it. Sometimes even good choices can cause us to forget the Lord. Making the effort to seek after riches, or the things of the world, before seeking after the best things, will lead us down a path of temptation. I know that we can start each day with a decision to seek after the kingdom of God. Even making just one choice, will bless us greatly in this life. I have seen it in my own life and I know it will make a difference for eternity.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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