In our reading next Sunday from Luke, Jesus declared the need to turn to God. Any other directin meant death. When we put ourselves our impulses and lusts, our passions, or our fears ahead of everything else in life, we make decisions that diminish the possibilities of life. We may believe our actions are serving us well, but we are not isolated beings. Our long-term well-being depends on the well-being of everyone and everything that is around us.
The call to put God first extends to our organizations. It is far too easy for churches and charitable organizations to put their well-being ahead of the needs of the people they believe they serve. Government social agencies as well can forget why they exist. This looking out for self has made poverty and social problems a billion dollar industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people dedicated to helping others, yet functioning in such a way as to often sustain the problems that create the need for them. They treat symptoms while reluctantly attacking the underlying causes.
Individually and collectively, putting God first challenges us to be aware of the impact of what we do, and to make decisions that support making this world a better place for the people and all the other living things that share this wearth with us.