Sunday, February 8, 2009


Most of us are able to rattle off the top 5 priorities of our lives with little effort. But rare is a person who actually lives according to their own spoken priorities. In my own struggle to live out what I profess to believe, I have asked myself to answer two simple questions:

  1. What MUST I do each day (priority)? - These are the things that are outside my normal activities, like work, meals, getting dressed, etc. These are things that reflect my beliefs and priorities. They require a conscious effort to accomplish.
  2. What things would I LIKE to do today (discretionary)? - These are the things I would like to do after I tend to my priorities, time and resources willing.

Too often, I find myself spending most of my time doing the things that I like to do, but little on the things that I absolutely must do, if my beliefs are to match what I profess. Below, I have provided my answers to these questions, in effort to help me identify those things that steal my time from the things I truly value. Hopefully, these thoughts will encourage you to identify those things which you must do, and differentiate them from the things you would like to do.

What are your priorities? How do you live them out?


  • God
    • Read the Bible. Process it. Pray over what I read. Apply it.
    • Listen for God's calling, prompting throughout my day, asking:
      • What is God trying to teach me?
      • What does God want me to do with/about ___?
      • What does God want me to share with others (time, thought, idea, possession, encouragement)?
  • Wife
    • Show my wife that I love her, in a way that she understands.
    • Show my wife respect and love by the way that I communicate with her (speaking and listening)
    • Intentionally lead my wife to be a fully devoted follower of Christ
  • Children
    • Spend time with my children, giving them attention, listening to them when they talk, loving them in a way that they feel loved by me.
    • Teach my children how to make good and Godly decisions; discipline as needed, full of love
    • Intentionally lead my children to become fully devoted followers of Christ
  • Self
    • Read books, meet with mentors, listen to teachers to develop myself as a:
      • Disciple of Jesus Christ
      • Husband of my wife
      • Father of my children
      • Leader of others
        • Co-workers
        • Life group
        • Life group leaders
      • Friend to my friends
    • Make time for exercise
    • Eat a healthy diet
    • Get enough rest

Discretionary Things:

  • Internet - Checking email, facebook, twitter, blogs, IM, texting, etc.
  • Media - watching TV, movies, music, etc.
  • Tasks - Managing finances, organizing/cleaning up things, home/yard/car maintenance, etc.
  • Hobbies -Disc golf, video games, guitar, ping pong, projects, etc.
  • Work - Go to work early, stay late, homework
  • People - hang out with friends/extended family

1 comment:

Tony H said...

Looks like you want to go somewhere on purpose Chris. Somebody said that, I'm not sure who, but it sure applies to you. I believe they are great goals that will lead you far. I'm a big believer in setting routines of action, I'm bent that way and it has served me well, so I of course think it would serve others well too. It always amazes me how some contradict all that and seem to embrace chaos and still find God and all things good in it, but some do. I guess I said that to say I'm not sure there is any one way, or magic formula, I just know what has worked for me and so I like your plan with a purpose and, most of all putting God first. If you start with Him, he'll put all the rest in order. That's my experience anyway. Thanks for sharing chris.