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  • Writer's pictureGracie Berney

Finishing Strong (Part II)

Your priority is primarily based on what is important to you.



Image credit: Wix


I was on the phone with one of my sisters the other day when the topic of priorities and getting things done came up. One of things she said that resonated with me was this: "if it matters to you, you will make time for it now".


The more I thought about her statement, the more I came to the realization of how profound that simple sentence was.


This past week has been very busy and most days I found myself wishing for more than 24 hours just so I could accomplish even more things on my to-do list.


Interestingly, the day I was on the phone with my sister, I realized I had not completed my Bible reading earlier in the day. Instead, I had postponed it because of some of the other things I wanted to get done.


To be honest, I felt guilty. Its not that I wasn't going to read it; in fact, I had every intention to; but it had been moved down the list to make room for other things I thought [at the time] were more immediate priorities and hoped to get to it later.


After a lot of soul searching and the realization that my priority list could use some re-evaluation, I went to the scriptures. And with that in mind, I would like to talk about: Re-Evaluating our Priorities [Part II of Finishing Strong].


Matthew 6:33 states: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."


 If you read the complete chapter especially the preceding verses, you'll see that Jesus had been talking to His disciples about various things including giving to the needy, how to pray, fasting, laying up treasures in heaven and even anxiety.


In Verse 32, He is telling is disciples that God the Father knows all things including their needs. And then He adds the conjunction "but". In essence, He is saying: yes, the Lord knows and see's everything about you, including your needs, work schedule, financial difficulties.... but, He still wants you to put Him first.


We are told to seek Him first. According to Cambridge Dictionary, the work seek means to try to find or get something. It also means to ask for advice, help, permission or approval.


The God of all the universe, who happens to know everything about you, wants you to seek His approval first and then He promises that "all these things shall be added unto you."


Think about this: what if that was the key to unlocking the breakthrough you have been searching for? So instead of making a mess of things and then coming to God for solution afterwards; what if we could seek Him first and then everything else just fell into place.


In all reality, I've noticed a difference in the days I find the time to seek Him first from the ones when I'm barely in communication with Him. A lot of times after time with Him, I feel so relaxed and ready to take on the day; but on the days, I'm in a rush and don't have enough time seeking Him, I always find myself overwhelmed and just drained by the end of the day.


As the year comes to a close, what are your priorities looking like? Who is number one? Do you seek Him first, or is He just an afterthought at the end of the day before your head hits the pillow?


For some of us, making God number one on the priority list is not the only re-evaluation we need to do. What about family? Sometimes we get so busy with work and other commitments, we tend to take advantage of our family's understanding of our schedule.


I heard someone recently ask, why is it that you only hear people talking about how much someone meant to them after the person dies?


Truth is, I've often wondered that myself. Wouldn't is be better if we let people know how much we loved and cared about them while they were alive? Or better yet, wouldn't it be special if we made them a priority for a change?


There are several things that can hinder us from having an effective priority list, such as:

1. Distractions - watch out for those. Sometimes they come as past times, but before you know it, you've wasted hours doing nothing (cellphones lol).

2. Poor planning - Any sort of accomplishment takes time. Personally, in order for me to have sufficient time with God in the morning, I have to plan ahead and that includes planning my bedtime earlier so I can wake up in time to pray and read my Bible.

3. Us - Yes you read that right lol. Sometimes we blame our failures or lack of success on everyone and everything but us. Our priorities are up to us. No one can make your list, but you.


Conclusion

Each of us have a priority list, whether written or mental. However, finishing this year strong doesn't have to be limited to just the things we accomplish for ourselves. Putting God as number one, creating time for family, friends, strangers and trying to avoid things that will hinder an effective priority list is barely scratching the surface.


This week, take some time to evaluate your list. Where is God? How sensitive are you to the hinderances of an effective priority list?



Quick Prayer

Dear God, as the year is winding to a close, help me to re-evaluate my priorities. I ask for forgiveness for all the times I have placed other things ahead of you or just simply wasted time. Please help me to always seek you first and to take responsibility for the times I mess up. Also, please help me to evaluate the rest of my list so that it lines us with the plans you have for me. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Stay Blessed

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