The problem for me is the mindset that comes over me when I’m fulfilling one of the things on my checklist. I immediately go into efficiency mode, trying to check off as many things as I can in the shortest time possible. This works well for the house cleaning but poorly for my walk with God.
You see, I run my day-to-day life with a task-oriented mindset. This mindset helps with efficiency in many areas of life, but when I apply it to relationships, my runaway productivity train runs out of track quickly.
Relationships don’t function inside a checkbox.
God designed us to be useful, productive, and orderly beings, but we are also relational beings since we are designed in His image. Relationships are harder than checklists because they are never quite finished, are always evolving, and are constantly stretching us outside of our comfort zones.
The painful truth is, relationships are more important than checklists. Why? Because God said so.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Loving someone doesn’t require a relationship, you might say. And in a sense, you’d be right. We can show love to strangers by the words we say and the things we do. But somehow, I don’t think Jesus had random acts of kindness and service in mind when He gave these commandments.
If these are indeed the greatest commandments, then we should follow them fully. The fullest form of love requires personal knowledge, and that personal knowledge comes through time spent, words spoken, and emotions shared. In other words, it comes through a relationship.
God prioritizes love above productivity, so His followers should too (even the list-makers among us).
What are some practical ways to love God and others more than our to-do lists?
Most importantly of all, my fellow list-makers, don’t ever put yourself in a position where your relationship with God feels inconvenient. Time devoted to learning about God through reading His Word, fellowshipping with His family, and serving Him in outreach is outside the limits of any checklist we make for our personal goals. Loving God and loving people are not goals to be checked off our list at the end of the day—they are the very heart that pumps life-blood into our Christian lives.
"...relationships are more important than checklists....Loving God and loving people are not goals to be checked off our list at the end of the day—they are the very heart that pumps life-blood into our Christian lives." I love these quotes! How have you found this to be true in your own life?
6/22/2021 07:54:10 am
As a fellow enthusiastic and prolific list-maker, I totally get this! :) Which means I need the reminder often to put people ahead of my tasks. It's easy to set aside my lists when it's "my" people (my daughters or my grandkids, for example) that *interrupt* my to-do list; it's harder when it's a stranger or acquaintance that God interrupts me for. I'm still a work in progress.
6/22/2021 12:01:49 pm
Lisa, I’m so glad you can relate! Sometimes people look at me funny when I talk about my need to organize and write out every aspect of my life. :-) I’m so thankful God is patient with us as we learn how to prioritize!
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