No. 981



Have you noticed, as I have, that over the years your priorities change? This is because one of the few constants in the universe is change. You can just count on it; stick around because things will change.
With this in mind, one of the most important questions for me, and hopefully for you, is whether or not our priorities are changing for the better. I remember many years ago when I was representing Earl Nightingale and his company, the Nightingale-Conant Corporation based in Chicago, their company slogan was “Human Beings are Improvable.”
It is in this spirit that I would like to share some thoughts and ideas with you today that will give you something positive to think about and, as a result, you will make wise choices that will improve your life in the weeks, months and years to come.
I can remember back when I was in high school my priorities were sports and girls, not necessarily in that order. Later when I married, dropped out of college and went to work for a printer in Little Rock, Ark., I had a few extra dollars in my pocket that I did not owe someone, so I bought a brand new 1960 red and white Chevrolet Impala with bucket seats.
This set a pattern that would continue for many years -- I bought many new cars, including three brand new Cadillacs, and finally got one paid for. Looking back, I realize the reason was because I came from meager circumstances and a new car was where I placed my value and self-worth as a person. I have since come to understand that when I was born, God gave me all the value and self-worth that I was ever going to have or would ever need.
In my case, I was not reared in a Godly home. As a result, I did not have solid Biblical teaching and made many poor choices earlier in my life that hurt a lot of people. I accept full responsibility, because I was always the one in the wrong.
After a divorce, I married a Godly woman and later came to know the Lord. On Feb. 26, 1984, I was baptized and began a new life as a Christian, and it has been like night and day in comparison. There are some very important verses in the Bible that really tell my story. In Luke 7:41-43 Jesus is talking to Peter and tells him about the man who loaned 500 denarii to one man and 50 denarii to another. When they could not repay him, he forgave them both. Jesus asked, “Which one loved him more?” Peter answered, “I suppose the one he forgave more.” This is the reason I love the Lord so much, because He has forgiven me more.
When it comes to our own choices and priorities, this is something I address in my book “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.” The concept behind this title is very simple. I just break life down into three time frames -- the first 25 years could be called the “Learning Years,” the second 25 years could be called the “Earning Years,” and the final years of our life could be called the “Giving Back” years. By using this simple concept as a reference point, you can see that most of our priorities will be determined by our age. We will certainly view life differently and make different choices when we are 70 years of age, as opposed to when we are 20 years of age.
Back in the summer of this year, my pastor taught a six-session course on relationships, where he gave a list of priorities that I believe, based on my own life, will result in greater success and happiness. For what they are worth, here they are: 1. God. 2. Family. 3. Work or Career. 4. Health. 5. Everything Else. At this point, regardless of your age, if you are not happy and satisfied with where you are, I can recommend these to you.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)