How to Adjust Your Priorites
by Tyora Moody
A few weeks ago, I talked about setting priorities, using the story of Martha and Mary. In this familiar story, Jesus scolded Martha for not making him a priority. Now mind you, at first glance, it might seem Martha’s preparations for her special guest made it appear Jesus was a priority. This assumption goes downhill when her obsession with her workload causes her frustration. Jesus is the one who requests all come to him who are weary and burdened (Matthew 11:28), so certainly any frustrations stemmed from Martha’s frantic service. Who knows, her sister might have eventually helped, but it was more important for Mary to fill her cup with spiritual food versus helping to prepare physical food.
In the next few weeks, using the book of Psalms, I will post a series called, “How to Adjust Your Priorities” There will be seven principles discussed in this series. Let’s explore the first principle.
#1) DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEEK HELP
Sometimes we don’t really know what we should be doing. Oh, we have plans for participating here, working on a household project here, traveling to a meeting here, taking the kids here, making time for hubby here, etc. Most of the time between our to-do lists and day timers, we don’t know whether we are coming or going. We aim to stretch and squeeze as much as possible out of a 24 hour day. The next morning we wake up tired and grouchy until our first cup of coffee, starting the process all over again. Before you read further, follow the exercise below and then let’s compare.
(1) Pray for understanding from the Holy Spirit
(2) Read Psalm 25. (I will be using the NIV translation, but feel free to use the translation you are comfortable reading)
(3) Read through Psalm 25 slowly. Mark any verses or words that stand out to you.
(4) In your study notebook or on a piece of paper, write down the verse(s) that stood out to you. If you have enough room and time, write out the entire verse. Record your interpretations.
I hope you took time to do the exercise. Here are my notes:
Psalm 25:1-2 – To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul, in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
(a) Who are you trusting with your time?
We need to make a conscience effort to place the way we spend our time before God. Knowing what we know about God’s character, do we trust him?
In the next verse, ” nor let my enemies triumph over me,” I’m sure David is talking about King Saul, who wanted to pursue him and snuff out his life. David had been anointed to be the next King mainly because he was “a man after God’s heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) ” Saul on the other hand, failed to listen and obey God, instead placed his priorities according to the wants of the people.
We may not have a “Saul” chasing after us, but believe me, the Enemy (Satan) would like to see us keep so busy, like Martha, we squeeze out the personal time for the more impersonal of just being in the mode of doing. Now, I don’t believe in being idle. That’s another whole topic and one can surely get in trouble with nothing to do. We have to find a balance.
(b) An All Day Affair
Psalm 25: 4-5 -Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
After stating we trust him with our agendas, then we need to LISTEN to him. These verses directly address our needs to put God first all day, not just part of the day. Whether it’s the commute to work, a meeting, responding to email, picking up the kids or planning dinner. We need God to show us exactly how we should be spending time. Are our activities really about kingdom building or relationship building?
After stating we trust him with our agendas, then we need to LISTEN to him.
(c) Check Your Ego at the Door
Psalm 25:9 – He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Our ego will make us think we can do it all. I love watching superhero movies like Superman, Spiderman, etc, but even these fictional superhumans have flaws. I know for myself, being too busy only leads me frazzled and more frustrated with life. When I’m humbled before the Lord, I have the opportunity to experience his peace and truly cast my burdens upon the one who sincerely cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).
(d) Break the Cycle
Psalm 25:15-18 – My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
Have you ever felt trapped by your every-growing to-do lists. Know that you are not alone (vs. 16) millions of people get caught up in the same hype. If you are at the stage where you are realizing your priorities are seriously out of whack, God can release your feet from the snare (vs. 15).
To view the rest of this God’s Word Unwrapped Bible Study series, visit the author’s Web site.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tyora Moody is a writer, book reviewer and web developer. Find more of her writings at CookieAisle.com.