To Do What’s Most Important, First Clarify What’s Most Important
By Rick Warren
“We can choose the sounds we want to listen to; we can choose the taste we want in food, and we should choose to follow what is right. But first of all we must define among ourselves what is good” (Job 34:3-4 TLB).
Ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done—and still sleep?
To make the most of your time, you must clarify what’s most important.
Stop saying, “I can’t get it all done,” and start realizing that it’s not all worth doing. You can’t get it all done because God doesn’t expect you to get it all done.
In clarifying what’s important, you’ve got to know what matters most and what doesn’t matter at all. You’ve got to know what counts and what doesn’t count. You’ve got to know what’s going to last and what’s not going to last. Most of the ways you spend your time won’t have any impact in a year—much less in 10 years or in 50 years or for eternity. So you’ve got to know what you value most. And you have to clarify what is and isn’t important.
The greatest gift that God has given you is salvation by Jesus Christ. He came and died on the cross so your sins could be forgiven. You need to accept that gift. The second greatest gift you were given in life is the freedom to choose.
Job 34:3-4 says, “We can choose the sounds we want to listen to; we can choose the taste we want in food, and we should choose to follow what is right. But first of all we must define among ourselves what is good” (TLB).It’s amazing to me that most people have never done this. They go through their entire lives having never taken the time to define what matters most to them—to literally sit down and write out their values. They’ve never said, “This is what is good, and this is what is bad. This is what I want out of life, and this is what I don’t want.”
Why write it down? The evangelist Dawson Trotman often said, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” In other words, when you can write it and you can say it, it becomes clearer. If you’ve never written down what’s important to you, it’s still fuzzy in your mind. You must define what is good. You must clarify what matters most.
When you haven’t clarified what you want out of life, you’re indecisive all the time, because you can’t do what’s good until you decide what’s good. You can’t do what’s important until you decide what’s important. You can’t practice what you want to do in life until you clarify what you want to do in life.
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Do you sometimes struggle with how to talk and listen to God? The good news is he longs to hear your prayers, whether it’s a bold cry or a whisper. And your words don’t need to be perfect. He delights in you when you come before him—in thanksgiving and petition.
Jesus says in John 15:7 . . .
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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