What My Priorities Say About Me

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It’s the start of a new season in my house.  The kids are embracing new schedules and new subjects of study, and I am, by default, having to embrace new discipline and a new attitude.  Whether we are ready for it or not, the school year is upon us.

As I usually do at the start of each new school year, I am examining my priorities and trying to make sure that everything is aligned with the vision I carry in my heart – the vision God has entrusted to me.  Not only for my life, but for my children’s lives too. In this process of seeking to realign priorities with vision, I have discovered something of mind-boggling proportions: all too often, what I say I believe is betrayed by what I do.

To elaborate, I’ve heard and even agreed with the statement that it isn’t what you say, but what you do, that proves what you believe.  In other words, I might think and even say that something is of utmost importance to me, but if I live in such a way that that particular thing is not given the space and time it deserves in my life, then I am actually disproving what I say by my choice to not make it a priority.

For the sake of impact and relativity, I will use the example from my own life that inspired this blog entry.  Anyone who knows me well knows how important my faith is to me.  They know that I love God and that I have purposed to dedicate all of myself and my life to Him, and to doing His will.

However, as I was examining my priorities again, I noticed that there are days and times when  – for various and even “justifiable” reasons – I rush right past or through relationship with God and into the day’s work. I’ll make sure to read my devotional for a quick bit of wisdom or boost of encouragement, but I don’t always stop, drop everything, and sit with the One for Whom I claim to live.

Before you start examining your own life and decide that no one really has time for all of that, please hear me out.  Because what I’ve realized is about more than just a lack of integrity in my priorities and beliefs.  Not only are what I say and what I do incongruent, but I have unknowingly been sabotaging the very things I want to be established in my life, and reinforcing the very things I seek to avoid.

Life does not become what we want it to be by wishful thinking.  This is one of the painful lessons reality teaches as we come into maturity.  How then, do we build or find the kind of lives we were created for?

The Bible speaks to this when it says that we will reap whatever we sow (Galatians 6:7).  In other words, whatever I pour myself into, that is what will be established in my life.  While I long to be free in Christ, defined by His love, and engaged in building His kingdom, I am – by virtue of the priorities I give myself to – enslaving myself to be defined by the values of our culture and engaging in building the kingdoms of men.

When I get up and rush past quality time with God, I am sowing into my own slavery and an identity which is defined by the work I do.  Rather than pause to breathe in the love of my Father, to connect with the One Who holds the vision for my life, I rush right into work that tells me I am productive and successful, and I receive my affirmation and satisfaction from that.  With enough reinforcement, I begin to build my identity and my priorities around such work and its rewards, be they monetary, emotional, or both. Before long, I am driven by the need to accomplish, rather than by my need for love and relationship.

(Sidenote: Because we were created for love and relationship, we will still seek those in some fashion.  But when work and accomplishment become our priorities, we end up seeking and settling for far less than we were intended to in relationships, and thus suffer the repercussions of disfunctional and failed relationships…a cycle we are much too familiar with in our day and age.)

Little wonder why we struggle so much to know who we are, much less walk in our true identities!

Dear Woman of Breakthrough, let us seek the Kingdom of God – not just with our words, but with our daily choices. If you are feeling spread out all over the place and disconnected from yourself and everyone else around you, let me lovingly suggest a realignment of your priorities.  Here is my list, to give you some kind of framework to start with.  A few of them may be interchangeable, but I believe the first and last are where they should be.

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Self-care
  3. Relationships with marriage/family
  4. Friendships
  5. Church relationships & ministry
  6. Work

Sadly, I realize that all of us have often bumped the last priority into the place of the first, and we have suffered greatly for it.  In a culture that demands so much of our time and attention and rewards such a sacrifice with mere survival, I have found it necessary to ask God’s help in arranging my time and dedicating it to the right priorities.  Instead of believing the lie that we don’t have enough time, let’s choose to believe that when we align our priorities with God’s will, He is able and willing to supernaturally stretch our 24 hours into much more than we need.

This is a prayer we can be sure He will answer, because we seek to walk in alignment with His will for our lives.

I long to see what our lives and families will look like when we both examine and commit to live out our priorities in agreement with God’s will.  I believe that so much of our weariness and dissatisfaction, and so many of our identity and relationship issues would be completely healed.

May we seek God’s help in beginning to live what we say we believe, and may the fruit of such an endeavor be rich and lovely indeed!

{photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}


One thought on “What My Priorities Say About Me

  1. Awesome reflection of this truth we hold as Christians, believers in Christ. Oh I too strive for that priority…without it life can be impossible, if we could just understand this value. Thank you for the thoughts on this…and may our Lord Christ Jesus strengthen us to seek Him and His kingdom first.

    Like

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