1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NIV)
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;
30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep;
31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
In verses 29 to 31, why does Paul say that "those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not" and so forth? Paul is not saying that husbands should abandon their wives or that we should fake our emotions. Rather in verses 29 to 31 Paul is identifying 3 of the most common things that take a Christian away from their God-given calling:
1. Don't worship your family (v29). Family of course is very important. However, some Christians treat their family as the main thing and Christ as a much lower priority. They might say, "before I really get serious with my relationship with God, let me find a boyfriend, or get married, or have kids, or let me wait till my kids are grown up first. Then after that I'll think about really living for Jesus." As important as family is, don't turn your family into an idol that you worship. Don't sacrifice Christ for the sake of your family.
Jesus says, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - yes, even their own life - such a person cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26) What Jesus means is that our commitment to Jesus needs to be far and away our number one commitment in life. It must exceed even our commitment to our family. Otherwise you'll miss your God-given calling and, ironically, your family will not as blessed, joyful or healthy in the long run. Instead like Joshua say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
2. Don't worship your feelings (v28). Here's how Pastor Jon Courson puts it:
The most widespread disease today is "I" disease—people focused on themselves, analyzing why they're depressed or why they're discouraged. But the more they analyze themselves, the more depressed they become. Paul's remedy is simple: Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). In other words, get involved with how others are doing. It's amazing what will happen. The Lord will use you, and you'll be set free if you get your eyes off yourself. (Jon Courson Application Commentary)
3. Don't worship your finances (v31). Be careful not to be so preoccupied with chasing material wealth that you miss God's calling on your life. 1 Timothy 6:10 says "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
It's not that God wants us to be unhappy. Much the opposite, God wants us to know true joy and freedom. True joy and freedom only come when we worship and serve Jesus Christ, not our family, our feelings or our finances. When we truly seek Christ and His kingdom first, He blesses with everything we need for our family, our emotional health and our possessions in the process.
Lord Jesus, may I seek You and Your kingdom first. I proclaim that as I seek You and Your kingdom first, You will add everything I need when it comes to my family, my feelings and my finances. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!