Each of us orders our lives according to what is really important to us. When our lives are disordered, it reveals that nothing is really important to us.
Read that again, please.
Thank you. :)
When I refer to disorder in our lives I’m not talking about a cluttered desk or too many unread emails. I’m talking about living with disconnects between our values and our attitudes, our priorities and our behaviors.
We lose our balance when we stop living according to our values and priorities. When this happens, we are out of order and out of balance, plain and simple, every time.
We forget what is first. The direction in which we should be headed. We become double-minded and unstable in all we do. (See James 1:8)
This is not a good place to be and no place we can remain without painful consequences.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Here are some good questions to ask to diagnose a disconnect:
Am I spending so much time on secondary (and probably important) things that I’m neglecting what I believe and know are primary things?
Am I spending money on secondary things and neglecting what I believe and know are primary things?
What’s the order? What trumps what? Work—family—God—recreation—marriage—church
What was my life like when I felt balanced and what has changed?
What good things am I doing that I need to let go so I can create capacity to do my best things?
Some of us know exactly what we should do, exactly what we should let go of, but we haven’t given ourselves permission.
Let go of the good–or merely entertaining, pleasurable, or popular– to gain the best. Listen to that inner voice that is letting you know you’re out of balance.
John Ortberg writes that “the effect of the Fall is that we have disordered affections.”
Disordered affections. We love what we shouldn’t and ignore whom we mustn’t. What should be important isn’t; in fact, little to nothing is.
It is interesting that our first sin is called the Fall. It’s what happens when we lose our balance. Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to set right the effects of the Fall.
Balance demands focus. When we’re unfocused we eventually fall.
Keeping our living in line with our believing (our values and priorities) doesn’t happen automatically. It requires disciplined choosing. We must choose our priorities lest they be chosen for us.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Living a balanced, rightly-ordered life simply means consistently choosing what is better.