Matthew 6:33 has, for many years, been a foundational scripture for me, not just because it demands the kingdom be a priority in my life, but because it frames a balance as well. Jesus states that Christians are to seek first the kingdom and His righteousness. I read that to mean Christians are to be focused on two things: 1) the expansion of the kingdom of God on earth; and 2) personal sanctification.
The priority is obvious. It’s the balance I want to explore here. If Christians focused on the expansion of the kingdom of God and ignored sanctification, they would quickly become seen as dominion-seeking bullies. If Christians focused only on personal sanctification to the exclusion of the expansion of the kingdom, they would become ineffective pietests. Jesus makes it clear both are to be a priority to the exclusion of neither.
Kingdom-building and sanctification are not an either/or but a both/and proposition. Keep these two at the very top of your list of priorities and you will be neither a bully nor a wimp, excessive nor ineffective. GS