Reflections by Jeremy Alger

I can imagine five different responses when a person quotes some famous thinker. The first is genuine interest in what is said. A second could be being impressed that someone is so knowledgeable. Opposite of that is the third, a complete disregard because someone is trying to show-off how smart they are. The fourth is a mental glazing over because the subject matter is going deeper than the person is interested in. A fifth would be general disinterest or indifference.
I’m about to share a quote from Søren Kierkegaard. I want to admit that I have read none of his work. I have heard his name plenty, but I don’t know much about him. This quote was in something I was reading, and it instantly resonated with me.
Kierkegaard said, “If you don’t seek first the Kingdom of God you never will seek it.”
That is clearly a reference to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Jesus was talking about how people are pre-occupied with what they will eat and wear, and finding shelter (basic human needs). But His advice was to seek first God and His will and Kingdom, and those needs will be met. I would personally testify that Jesus was absolutely correct (I always feel that way).
But what the quote from Kierkegaard is saying is beyond the idea of God providing. It is about human nature. He is saying that if we trust ourselves or the people around us to meet our basic needs we won’t turn to trust God afterward.
He is speaking about more than simply trusting or believing in God. I think he is recognizing that the scope of who God is and what He desires from us is too all encompassing to be an afterthought. I would take this into our daily lives and say that you can’t have a relationship with Jesus that only happens on Sunday. You can’t have a faith life that only exists in the margins of your normal life.
Plenty of people are finding spiritual practices that sooth them and comfort them. Some people find pleasure in the process of Christian service. They are helping and serving people in Jesus’ name, but they only do those things when their life has room and time for them. They are essentially dabbling in Christianity. They have a faith hobby.
Kierkegaard (and I) say that God has called us to a relationship with Him and a prioritization of his Kingdom before everything else. God’s desire is that we would live our daily lives in service to His plan. That we would do our work and have relationships with people that pour out of our seeking the Kingdom of God. He essentially doesn’t want a husband, father, banker who is a Christian. He wants a Christian who is a husband, a father and a banker.
And if you can’t have God first, you will never truly have God at all. The creator of all things, Almighty God, doesn’t fit as an afterthought or a hobby.
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. They meet in person and online every Sunday. For more information please visit