“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Matthew 6:31-33 KJV
There is nothing wrong with seeking food, or drink, or clothing. Jesus himself says the heavenly father knows we need them. The trouble comes when we focus our lives around the seeking of food, drink, clothing, and any other creaturely thing. The trouble comes when we get so anxious about having these things that we make them our first priority.
When we make the acquisition of things our first priority we run into the Solomon problem. The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes tells us that King Solomon searched high and low for meaning in life by acquiring as much of everything as he could. What did he find? He found that “all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). When the acquisition of creaturely things is set up as the be-all and end-all of life it quickly loses its luster. The mere acquisition of things fails to satisfy the human quest for ultimate meaning and purpose.
Over and above the acquisition of things, but not apart from them, is the true meaning and purpose of life—seeking the Kingdom of God. What does it mean to seek the kingdom? It means to enter the kingdom and its righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ and it means to advance and develop the kingdom by serving the King in every area of life—including the acquisition of creaturely things. After all, you would not be much help to the King if you were naked and starving.
It is, therefore, a question of priorities. Do you seek these things for their own sake, or do you seek them in service to the King? If it’s the first, then these things will never truly satisfy your quest for meaning. If it’s the second, then they will not have to satisfy your quest, because you will have already found the true source of meaning and purpose.
And there’s a bonus for seeking the Kingdom first. You get what you need as part of the package.
© 2016 by Bible League International