It’s a good idea to be aware of the priorities in our lives. We should periodically review what’s important to us and make sure our actions align with our intentions.
For example, if I consider watching sports to be a waste of time but devote hours to its pursuit, then my actions don’t align with my intentions. Something needs an adjustment.
Perhaps I would need to be honest and say I enjoy watching sports, thereby making it a priority (remember, this is hypothetical). Alternately, I might need to skip some TV viewing in order to subject my actions into matching my intentions.
(For the record, the television can be a distraction for me, but it’s seldom sports.)
So if you were to make an honest list of the priorities in your life, what would they be? Perhaps the main categories might look like:
Then there would be subdivisions. For example, family might include spouse, children, parents, and so forth. Or work might consist of the 9 to 5 portion, expectations outside of the workday, and going the extra mile.
By factoring in variations and distinctions, our list of five or six key areas can expand to a couple dozen items with overlapping themes and intertwined considerations.
The next step is to compare our ideal list with reality. Does the way we spent our time match our priorities? If you’re like me, the answer is often no.
Contrasting actions with intentions isn’t a guilt producing exercise but an opportunity to better align our reality with our priorities. For me the practical result is often the realization that I should scale back on television or need to cut out some non-essential activities.
The most important consideration, however, is where does God fit into our life? Is he a priority? Do our actions actually support that?
The consequences are eternal.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.