Seek Ye First

Robert T. Oliver

I taught in secondary schools for thirty-six years. Fifteen of those years were in one of our Christian schools, and the last twenty-one years were in a boarding-day college-prep school. I say that only to let you know I understand the value of a good education. I remember when I was a student at Freed-Hardeman University in the mid 60’s that some of my peers would miss church services on Sunday night or Wednesday night because they felt the need to study. I have known many parents over the years that kept their children home from church services so their children could do homework or study for tests. I have known people that condemned other parents for allowing their children to miss services for sporting activities, but they kept their children home to do homework.

Therefore, how do we answer the question, “Is it all right to miss church services in order to do school work?” There is only one way to answer a Bible question, and that is with a Biblical answer. The words in the title of this article come from Jesus, and I believe He addresses this topic. In Matthew 6:24-34 Jesus is speaking of “earthly” things. He speaks of our providing for ourselves. This is what school helps us do. Yet, Jesus tells us in verse 33 that we must seek God first.

What are we teaching our children if we allow them to miss times of worship or Bible study? We are teaching them that we are to seek God first, unless something else that is important to us comes along. I remember one young man in the sixth grade telling me that he could do better on a test he had the next day if he would stay home and study for it, but he said that Bible study came first. I don’t know how he did on the test, but I know God would have been pleased with his priorities. I watched that young man grow up, and God has given him the talent and ability to provide for himself and his family.

I have never known a Christian to suffer educationally or career-wise for putting Christ first. Even, however, if 1 knew of that happening, do we not want our children to have a safe eternity more than a safe career in this life? 

We need to trust in God. Jesus tells us in this passage that if we seek God first, He will provide for us. -585 Winding Ridge Rd., Rock Spring, GA 30739.

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