Does anyone reading this besides me have a recurring problem with bad prioritizing? Do you perhaps have a mental flash of thought where you realize, “I have spent too much time on things not nearly as urgent as other things I’ve neglected?” When this proneness involves spiritual matters it can become horribly harmful.
Years ago (in the 1970’s) I had made an appointment with a young lady in New Zealand named Glennis Wells. She was very troubled about a problem that was very serious to her. Meantime, I had also been asked to play golf by another member of the church. The day arrived and on approximately the 10th fairway the awareness of missing the appointment with Glennis occurred to my brain. I still to this day remember the flash of mental pain that surged through my thoughts. I aborted the round of golf just to return and go apologize to this lady, only to learn from her mom that she had returned home crying and was in no mental state to talk to me. Thank God, we were able the next day to talk and help her with this really small matter, but that to her was critical, and so the crisis for both of us was resolved. I still believe this was a God-given learning experience for me. In all our years in New Zealand I never had this particular problem again.
Our God says to us:
“Let each of you look (Gk. = ‘take note carefully’) not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:4)
“Above all put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called into the one body. And be thankful.” ( Col. 3:14-15 )
Earl had allowed himself to think mostly of his “own interests” that day. None of the self-justifying rationales like, “I was just encouraging my brother by spending time with him on the golf course” would relieve my mind at all. I knew Earl had let his own pleasant prospect of playing golf block out of his mind the interests of my troubled sister in Christ.
Had I given priority to the needs of others ahead of my own self-wants? NO!! Had I needed to learn afresh that neglecting to “put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony” was a priority far above self-life. Yes!! Did I learn that “harmony” and the inner “peace of Christ” are far more needful than playing golf or any other self-thing? I truly hope so. Lord, help us to let You formulate our priorities, aware that all else just leads to misery and painful life.