Priority

High importance; higher ranking; more critical than other things

Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority. Tom Hopkins

Action expresses priorities. Mahatma Gandhi

It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important.  Doris Lessing

  Having priorities is a form of goal setting. How do we know what we should be doing if we have not made the effort to determine what it is that is most important? The higher the priority, the more likely it is something that will get our attention. We do not do well at items that are low in priority.   

    When lacking priority, one thing is equally important or as unimportant as anything else. Given a choice of making a mortgage payment or purchasing a new television, most have no problem in establishing the mortgage as a far higher priority. After finishing high school, some establish going on to college as a higher priority than getting a job and buying a new car. Some have taken the opposite view point that getting a job is a higher priority. We have and will continue to live with the consequences of what we have made to be our priorities.

    Those who have established what is most important to them have a basis of determining where their efforts should be concentrated. When asked many respond that their families come first. Spiritually inclined individuals will respond that God is first in their life. In years past, many would say their priorities were God, family and country. Those who want to pursue fame and fortune might respond that achieving financial success is the most important. These might be the individuals who will sacrifice everything to “get ahead’. Often their families are of lower priority and “get the short end of the stick”.

     Having priorities parallels having principles and values. Those things that are in the forefront of our interests and thought processes are the things we focus on or perform at our best. If something is of low value or importance, it will not get our best effort. It is vitally important for us to know where our priorities should lie.

     Families, financial security, health, exercise, spiritual enlightenment, honesty, integrity, patriotism; might be a list of things that many would rank high in importance. Those with such priorities are more likely to be rather accomplished at doing well in these things. Broken families, addictions, extreme debt, undesirable employment, being overweight and other such undesirables might be said to be caused by having a lack of priorities. If we are aware of our inadequacies and deficiencies we probably need to review and reestablish our priorities.

Challenge: What are your top ten important things? If some of these things are disappointing you, chances are they may not be as high a priority as you may think. This may be a good time to review. Are you giving the proper time and effort to your top priorities? If you say you are, but are not giving them the proper commitment, you may be just giving lip service to them. Be sure to be totally honest with yourself about this.

Wisdom:  The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion. Dwight D Eisenhower

Spiritual: (NIV)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt.6:33

And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Phil.1:9

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Prov. 4:18

Challenge: What we put time and effort into are the things we do best. In the secular world this is pretty straight forward. In the spiritual dimension, having a high priority of a righteous relationship with God, instead of taking away from other things, actually empowers us to be much better at them than we can in our own strength. God’s strength and power will manifest in us and allow us to do so much better than we can do on our own.

Prayer:  Help me to know what my priorities should be and help me to focus my efforts on them.

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