Decide with Priorities Not Pride

You know that little voice that whispers so seductively in your ear.

You should…

You could….

They would be so happy if…

You’d be a hero if you only…

If you don’t do it, who will…

That’s pride.

And you know what God says follows pride? A fall.

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Pride always pushes me to do more. Nothing gets me closer to capacity than having a mile long To-Do list filled with things my pride decided I could do or should do.

Because pride pushes us to do more, we can easily lose our focus. When we stop focusing on what is eternally important, temporal requirements pile up and we end up falling out from the strain of it all.

Living chronically close to capacity increases the chance of collapse.

Living chronically close to capacity increases the chance of collapse. Click To Tweet

Priorities Not Pride

But when I use my priorities to decide, I’m reminded of what is most important. So, I take a pause and ask myself a few questions. Does the commitment I’m considering support my first priority of having a loving relationship with God? Will taking on this extra task positively or negatively effect my family? Will this one more thing on my To-Do List be the one that makes me fall out?

Usually the answers to these questions are fairly straight-forward. The tricky part comes when my pride argues that I’m loving others by adding that one more “good thing” to my list. And God wants me to be loving. Doesn’t He?

Mining Motives

The key to discerning between pride and priorities lies in mining our motives.

The key to discerning between pride and priorities lies in mining our motives. Click To Tweet

Are we attempting to please others by our actions or are we loving them as an outflow from a pure heart filled by God?

When we choose with pride, we become so busy doing that we have no time to be. But when we choose with priorities, the overflow from our being enables us to accomplish all the doing.

What pride complicates, priorities untangle.

What pride complicates, priorities untangle. Click To Tweet

This is the gist of what Jesus told Martha when she became stressed out by all her doing. She was upset and worried tending to dinner preparations while her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet. Part of me wishes Jesus would have told Mary to get up off her butt and get to work, but that’s not what He did. Instead, He praised her choice. Mary chose being with Jesus, and it was not taken from her. What Martha was doing wasn’t bad, but it distracted her from what was best and left her stressed.

Making decisions based on our priorities ensures we will always give our best to those things which are eternally important. I have found that when I live my priorities, I suffer from the effects of stress far less. Being filled up by what is best, prepares me to accomplish the rest.

Deciding with priorities untangles the MESS of holiday stress.

Deciding with priorities untangles the MESS of holiday stress. Click To Tweet

“Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33

For more insight on untangling the mess of holiday stress see these other posts:

Part 1: Untangling the Mess of Holiday Stress

Part 2: Fix Your Focus

Part 4:  Fill Up Before You Fall Out

Part 5:  Restore with Regular Rest


22 thoughts on “Decide with Priorities Not Pride

  1. Liz, you are so on point! I love “mining our motives” to keep things where they should be. I’m sorry I didn’t understand this principle when my children were young. Sadly, it’s reflected in their parenting. But, praise God, it’s never to late to change. Priorities help me keep life in check much more now as I interact with those and Him that I love most. Blessings from your neighbor at Kelly’s.

    1. Sometimes I have to dig even deeper than I’m comfortable with to figure out what my motives are for my actions. It can be tough work, but so important! Merry Christmas!

  2. I love how practical and heart level your writing is. It’s easy to get lost in busy thinking we make all the difference, we hold all the power, but your reminder today is so important — especially around the holidays.
    Glad to visit from #raralinkup

    1. Thanks, Becky! And when we think we make a difference or hold any power, that’s when pride steps right in and takes over and makes a big old MESS of things! Merry Christmas!

  3. Pride. Ugh! Gets me every time. I’m so thankful God doesn’t give up on me, especially in this area. That sneaky pride wants to take over everything, but I am resolved to set my priorities in order this season. Thanks friend!

  4. Wow, this is so packed with important truth. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re doing for others when deep down the motive is simple – we want to be the best and impress. Praying to keep my focus on Jesus and let Him guide my priorities. Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  5. Hey, Liz. Love the new look of your site. 🙂 Boy, don’t we all need this message right now? How is it that we (human race) have managed to make the birth of a savior about our to-do lists? Lord, forgive us. Thank you for sharing, Liz. So great to be your linkup buddy at Susan’s place this morning. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  6. This is so good, Liz. You have me thinking here. I need to evaluate my plans based on the priority of enjoying God and my family right now. It’s so easy to get caught up with looking good or pleasing people!

  7. Liz, I also battle with a nagging case of the “shoulds,” particularly at this time of year. I’m going to set aside the tangled mess today and ask God to help me sort through, prioritize, and find rest in him. Merry Christmas to you!

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