One of the major topics in the Harris household is talking about our schedule and priorities. There are always several things to choose from with regard to how we spend our time. We can invest in ourselves; school, exercise, spiritual training, music/arts, or enjoying various media forms such as reading, movies, television, and surfing the internet. We have those things that cause us to interact with others and each other such as socializing, meeting the needs of others, and family time. Then there are the commitments that need to happen to support our daily living; generating an income, maintaining the home, paying bills, and ensuring the budget is in order. If we don’t know our priorities, then everything is priority, which results in nothing being the priority.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. (Galatians 6:4 NLT)

Upon reading this verse, the phrase “satisfaction of a job well done” spoke to me first. Like my peer Jennifer Armstrong, I’m a list person. Nothing like a good list then knocking it down. Satisfaction!

Then the next part of the verse spoke a little louder: you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Turning the sentence around, I take it to mean that if we don’t pay attention to our own work, we won’t have job satisfaction, and in doing this, we will measure ourselves by what others are doing. We’re not talking about the “good” focus on others here; I believe this is referring to things that turn to jealousy and unhealthy competition. God made each of us for a unique purpose; the more we seek and act on this purpose, the closer we can come to reaching our potential. The key here is what voice we are listening to: that of our own desires or that of the spirit because no matter the apparent result, we reap what we sow. What we put in is what we get out. Seeking after our own earthly desires yields corruption, seeking the will of the Spirit reaps eternal life.

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)

My main thought on this today is: What voice am I listening to? The guidance of The Spirit, my own desire for pleasure, or my desire to please others. Sometimes on the outside we may be attempting to please others, but on the inside we’re doing it to make ourselves feel good. Three pointers that I try to live and lead by to help “say no to the good things so we can say yes to the great things”:

  1. It is okay to say no. God gave us freewill. We’re responsible for our choices.
  2. Knowing my priorities helps me to say no.
  3. Sharing my priorities with friends and family helps them understand why I am saying no.

In closing, here’s a great reminder as to what God sees as priority, and I say amen to that.

What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. (Galatians 6:15b-16 NLT) 

1 Kings 2; Galatians 6; Ezekiel 33; Psalms 81–82