Thursday, April 1, 2021

Balancing Priorities – Deciding What Is Most Important

 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25

Charles Hummel wrote a book “Tyranny of the Urgent”  The idea behind the book is that we often let what seems urgent be the deciding factor with respect to what we do.  What is “important” is juxtaposed with what is “urgent”.  (OK hang with me here!) There are 4 possible combinations of life situations that we will encounter  – Urgent/Important – Urgent/Not Important – Not Urgent Important – Not Urgent/Not Important. 

So what does that have to do with our faith?  Well, our emotions are tied to what we perceive as urgent.  Something happens and our emotions – “Spidey senses” – tell us that this must be acted upon immediately, it's urgent.  The key is knowing what if it is important and keeping life in perspective with respect to that knowing.  To not respond to the pressure our natural emotions. We make so many decisions based upon how we feel and very often have long lasting negative consequences because of our decision to act, solely based upon the feelings of the moment.  And so, Christian, our challenge is to determines what is important to each of  us.  The text-book (Bible) answer is God, others (world, culture, family), and lastly you. (Matthew 22: 37-39, Romans 12:1-2, Mark 9:35) There are many other references, but those are sufficient for my point.  What should be important is determined first by our relationship with God and our willingness to trust and obey – and not by our feelings/emotions. 

The difficulty starts with the tension between the old life and the new life – that we live in a physical world but have a new spiritual reality that is supposed to be our primary perspective – the filter by which we determine what is important and what is urgent.  In the context of Hummel’s book – Our relationship with God is the determinant with respect to deciding what is important and what is urgent.  For some Christians – it’s OK to agree that we should not love the world or the things of this world (1 John 2:15) in principle but we fail because we do not believe in fact. It becomes a principle not necessarily to be followed, especially when it applies to us, personally.

What my point, friend, is that every that experience will fall into its proper place when God is in His proper place.  A classic question is “Do you believe that what you believe is really real?”  If you do – God will always be first – and if you don’t – God will often be left in the dust in favor of what is urgent – what your flesh tells you is important.  We are faced with these decisions every day.  But – if we are not spiritually minded – we are bound to choose poorly.  If the Chief End Of Man is indeed to “Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever” then God must be first and must be the One who determines what is important and what is urgent. 

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16

You are going to be challenged today with this dilemma – what to respond to and how to respond.  If you are a Christian – the choice is clear but requires faith and obedience to respond correctly.  Keep the things of life in their proper place … don’t let your emotions rule .. that place belongs to God.

Believe it – walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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