Aligning Spiritual Priorities

“Rather than trying to do everything for Christ, bring Christ into everything you do”

One of the constant struggles that we all have is how to prioritize our life. From a Christian perspective I will propose to you that everything is spiritual so the way to think about these same life issues is to describe them as our spiritual priorities.

Life will always fill up all the available space in our lives. There is a tendency for some to become workaholic because there is always something to do. For others, even if everything gets done they will still find something to work on because they do not have the capacity to sit still and do nothing. At the other end of the spectrum are those who are lazy and have tons of things to do but do none of them because it is too exhausting to think about doing anything.

On the other hand most of us bemoan the fact that we can never get everything done. The things we would really like to get to because life is busy. I will often here people compare their activities to someone else by making statements like, “I wish I had time to do that but I can’t; I’m just too busy”. While that sounds innocent it can come across as condescending. In other words it is easy to imply that the things I am doing are far more important than wasting it on doing the activity someone else is doing but I would do it if I had time.” So how do we think about these kinds of circumstances?

With respect to aligning our spiritual priorities I will suggest this: “Everyone makes time to do exactly what they value”. That would make sense if you are convinced that action speak louder than words. I believe everyone does exactly what they truly value and everyone always makes time to do what they truly value. I like to get some exercise and work out and I have had some make some comments that they wish they had time to get more exercise. The confusion is they have other things they value more than exercise and they make time to do those things rather than getting exercise. The same principle applied to me. If I make time to do one thing I am, by choice, eliminating doing other things.

In some ways this is not always a right or wrong issue but our actions do reflect our values. We do make time for what we truly value. There are some other contingencies that have some influence on this but we will not have time to discuss here. Priorities are driven by values and values are supported by what we believe. Values are reflected in our behaviors.
Some people use a priority list – the most important thing in their life is “this”. The second most important thing in my life is “this”, and so on and so forth. The tricky part is how you measure a priority. If you use “time spent doing something” to measure how important something is you will likely run into a serious problem. Most of us spend most of our time at work, then with house projects, some in front of the TV and then with wife and kids or other relationships.

Aligning Spiritual Priorities: I will propose to you that Christ should NOT be part of our priority list in life. Some of you will read that twice just to see if I really said what I said. Here is my point: Christ should never be a priority that we balance with the rest of our activities. Christ is the One who defines life for the Christian, He is not just another activity or relationship that we try to make space and time for in our life. Christ has no interest in us working Him into our schedule. He should not become one of several things we try and balance into our life. He is the centerpiece that defines life for the Christian. Therefore the issue is not trying to do everything for Christ but taking Christ into everything we do. He defines and the priorities of life, the motivation for doing them, the process by which we get them done and the ultimate goal for why we do them in the first place.

 

Brad Little