Educator Stephen Covey once said effective people “keep the main thing the main thing.” Yet long before Covey lived, Jesus our Lord blasted the Pharisees for their failure to keep the main thing the main thing. He said they carefully strained out a gnat from their water while swallowing a camel. Then we read in Luke 11:42 where He said of them “You are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God.” Jesus criticized this religious crowd for carefully giving a tenth of everything they grew in their gardens while neglecting the most significant duty of worshiping God with integrity and treating others justly. Today Jesus calls us not only to go to church and give to worthy causes. He tells us to live for God each day, to speak out and work on behalf of those who are treated unjustly. Since our country is governed by laws, we as God’s people can work for fair laws to promote peace and justice for all. As followers of Jesus Christ, our purpose—our main thing—is to know and love God fervently, and to treat every person with respect, love, and justice.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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