Maybe you’ve heard people beating the priority drum that says, “God comes first, then family, then the church.” I know I have. So then, why is it so hard to prioritize our lives? We tend to make the unimportant things urgent, and let the truly important things take a back burner. How are we so swayed and controlled by constant demands on our time? We need a stronger sense of priorities. We feel obligated to everyone, all the time, with no clear rhythm or rhyme (that rhymed!).
A few years ago, my friend Steve told me about a principle he gleaned from Andy Stanley’s book, Choosing to Cheat. In the book, Stanley makes the point that we have to choose who, what, when, why and how we want to cheat with our time. We have to have a strong sense of the main thing in our lives to keep the less important things from encroaching on what’s truly important. Many people fail in this area, not because they don’t know what’s important, but because knowing and doing are two very different things. Perhaps they are driven by insecurity (wanting to please everyone) or by guilt (feeling they owe people). We should aim to please God rather than man (Gal 1:10).
When I was considering the residency program at Christ the King Church, I feared that my family would get the short end of my time. I own a full time recording studio, have 3 kids, a pregnant wife, and at the time was working about 12 hrs a week taking online classes. I was being asked to commit 15-20 hrs a week to the residency, which could, in turn require me to work upwards of 60-80 hrs a week, leaving my family high and dry. I couldn’t do that to them, and I would not, so the answer was simple. I needed to make a plan. I put college on the shelf, dropped my work week by 30%, and scheduled two days a week at church. I was advised to raise monthly support to make up for my missing income. God graciously provided through a few generous friends and family, as well as a sponsorship through NAMB. Then we were ready.
If it weren’t for wise friends, family, and pastors who have the freedom to speak into my life, I wouldn’t have had a clue. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” My advice: don’t try to be a hero. Choose to cheat lesser things so you can focus on the most important things. Since you need help making these decisions, surround yourself with godly people you trust to help you determine where to cheat.