What are the things you let take up the majority of your time? Do you believe you spend your time wisely? Life is fleeting, so we have to be wise with our time. James 4:14 reminds us that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring and that we’re a mist that appears for a short time and then vanishes.
Usually, you can figure out someone’s priorities by their appearance, actions, and how they spend their time. For example, suppose a person’s priority is to foster their relationship with God. In that case, they’ll frequently pray, read the Bible, attend church, and spend time with other believers.
Similarly, if their priority is to be physically fit, they’ll spend their time planning healthy meals, exercising, going to the gym, and spending time with people with similar goals. Our priorities define our day-to-day routines and activities. What you water will grow, but we must be intentional about what we water. Otherwise, you may realize that you’re watering the wrong things.
When your priorities are wrong, it doesn’t matter how hard you work. It’s like rowing a boat against the current. You put in all the effort and work but don’t see a return for your labor. When our priorities are wrong, we’re pursuing the wrong things. We’re left unsatisfied and empty by seeking the wrong things, longing for something bigger and better. Instead, we should seek God and ensure that our work is for Him, not ourselves.
It’s essential to recognize the signs because when it seems like you’re working toward something that seems good, that doesn’t mean it’s the right priority. Here are some signs that your priorities are wrong.
You feel like your life is falling apart.
When you feel like nothing is going according to plan and you’re constantly met with strife, you may be chasing the wrong things. This sign is one of the most obvious ones. You’ll easily recognize it because everything is going wrong. Once they realize that their path isn’t the one God ordained, most believers will say, “God closed the door.” Luke 12:28-31 reminds us that we should seek God first, then everything else will fall into place.
You stop putting other people first.
If your priorities have caused you to shrink one of Jesus’ most known commandments, to love others as yourself, it’s a sign that your priorities may be wrong. Priorities created out of selfish motives lead to self-centered and selfish living. The right priorities won’t require you to forget others’ needs. While achieving a goal or working toward completing a project, ensure that you keep it in the right place, even if it’s something that you believe God is calling you to do.
God would never ask you to ignore others’ needs to fulfill His calling. When you’re busy with a big project, ask God to help you find the time to serve and love those around you and still complete your tasks on time. Philippians 2:3-4 reminds us we shouldn’t do anything out of selfish ambition. Instead, we should value others over ourselves.
You’re irritated when things don’t go your way.
You’ll know when your priorities are wrong because you’ll feel irritable and stressed, growing impatient when people need something from you. Typically, this causes conflict until you realize that your priorities have taken a turn for the worst. Sadly, it’s a time when the people around you get hurt.
Another sure sign that your priorities are out of whack is when you leave your friends and family in the dust to pursue bigger things instead of having them with you for the journey. Instead of pushing people out of your life, try to work toward each other’s goals, supporting and encouraging each other along the way.
You put what the world says is important on a pedestal.
Getting caught up in what the world values as important is easy. For example, you prioritize your job to get a promotion because the world says you have to make money to be happy. Do all the things that feel good and are fun, but if you prioritize this, you’ll be left with an empty heart. The Bible reminds us to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and we’ll get everything we need.
You don’t have time for God.
Serving two masters is impossible. It’s either God or something else. If God isn’t the first priority in your life, what is? What have you put at the head of your life, and what is taking God’s place? God is the one who gives, but He can also take away. If you think you can get to the top and find success, freedom, and friends, your priorities are out of line.
If you’re skipping church every week with dust building up on your Bible, and you can’t remember the last time you prayed, it may be time to consider your priorities and think about if they’re worth what you’re giving up.
How to realign your priorities.
Lamentations 3:40 reminds us to examine our ways and return to the Lord. If you relate to any of these signs, it might be time to evaluate your priorities and think about if you’re chasing the wrong things. Review your current priorities and write down what takes up most of your time. The items on this list are your top priorities. After that, write down what you’ve given up.
Pray and ask God to show you the changes you need to make. Should your low-level priorities be higher on your list of important items? It might also help to ask the people in your life about your priorities and what they believe your priorities should be. Pick three priorities to invest your time into intentionally.
If everything you try to do feels challenging and strained, your priorities might be heading off course. To guarantee that your priorities are what they should be, it would be best to keep your focus on God. When your plans align with God’s, you’ll be successful.