Life is full of priorities. Even when we don’t think about them, we’re constantly making decisions based on our priorities. In fact, our actions often give light to our real priorities and not just the ones we claim.
For example, it’s easy to say you value your family more than your work. But the long hours and overtime worked or the cancelling of family activities because you have more work to do? Those things show that work is more important than family. You can say you love your spouse more than your kids, but then you spend every spare moment with your kids and are left exhausted and just need some alone time after the kids are in bed. You’re showing you really value your kids over your spouse. Or maybe you say you love God above all else. But your day is often too filled up and too busy to take time to read the Bible or pray.
The point of those examples aren’t to guilt you. They’re to point out that saying you have a priority and living a priority are two different things. So what do you do? It’s time to fix your priorities.
Step one is to write out what you want your priorities to be. Maybe this is what you tell yourself and others your priorities are. Write out the list with the highest priority at the top down the least.
Step two might hurt. It’s time to write out your real priorities. Sit down with your calendar and memory and think through where you really put your time. If someone else looked at everything you do in life, what would they say your priorities are? Write out those things in the order they seem to be prioritized.
Now look at those two lists. They might look pretty different. But remember, this isn’t about guilt. You’ve already done the hardest part of being honest with yourself. Now it’s time to ask the question: how do I get from list two to list one? How do I get from my reality to where I want to be?
It might mean cutting back at work. It might mean saying, “No,” to another responsibility at you church. It might mean being observant of where you put your energy so you have more for your spouse at the end of the day. Maybe it means getting up earlier (or staying up later) to get in the time you need with God. Whatever it takes, do it. Once you have your priorities in the right place, you’ll find life feels more fulfilling. And you won’t have to worry about that guilt either.