Hard-coding impedes spiritual growth

In computer programming, it is understood that hard-coding limits the usefulness of a program. If the assumption is made that a program only needs to work on Fridays, then that program is useless if it is needed on Mondays, etc. Same in the realm of spiritual progress.

For many years, I operated from the standpoint that my committment to church equated to putting God first in my life. It certainly helped that there was a spiritually advanced individual in the church who was constantly pointing me back to God in the details! But eventually, the program stopped working - the hard-coded equation of committment to church and putting God first no longer applied. My spiritual growth met a brick wall! As a wise friend put it - you did not leave church, you outgrew it.

Today, putting God first applies to thinking the moment I wake up in the morning, communicating with others during the day (including this website), planning activities during the day, etc. Mary Baker Eddy said, in the last years of a life of dedicated to doing the will of God, that she was still striving to bring God into more details of her life (she had long stopped attending church)! I can't think of a better guide: the ongoing striving to bring God into more details of life.

When Jesus instructed us in the Sermon on the Mount "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." he set the perfect standard, free of the "hard-coding" - i.e., pray seven times a day, attend church, eat only kosher food, etc. To seek first the kingdom of God is not complicated, not restrictive, only empowering. What it means to one is not necessarily what it will mean to another. But above all, in all cases, honesty to oneself is requisite. 

"Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness which forfeits divine help." (S&H)