Even if a New Testament Christian is convicted and serious about his/her commitment to Christ (Lk 9:23-24) there will still be the conundrum of priorities.  Taking up one’s cross daily will mean different actions for each individual.  The stay at home mom’s burdens can be overwhelming, especially if she has small children. (Husbands, try being “Mr. Mom” for even a day to verify the validity of that statement.)  Depending upon the number of “hats” one wears, the burdens and responsibilities may grow exponentially. If one chooses to be a parent, manager at work, coach and a Bible school teacher, stress can easily frustrate any attempt to prioritize all those tasks.

Some “solutions” seem very tempting.  Some people simply choose to avoid responsibility at all costs.  Others learn to make themselves unavailable and unqualified.  After all, “When one is off the wall, one is off the hook.”  Some excuses are completely legitimate, such as physical or mental disabilities, serious illnesses or advanced age.

What then are some strategies for a Christian who wants to obey Christ’s commandments but has difficulties organizing priorities? The first would be to look to the Godhead for answers.  Jesus fully understands what it means to be human (Heb 2: 17-18).  He was constantly surrounded and jostled by the crowds, yet He kept His priorities straight (Mk 2:2) (Mk 3:7-10).  He took the truth from the Father and gave it to the Holy Spirit to inspire men to write the scriptures (Jo 16;13-16).  The second then is to consult the manual.  Next, tap into the help and power of the Godhead.  Jesus promised to give rest to those who are weary and burdened (Mt 11:28).  He will not physically visit hospitals, comfort the grieving, and the sick, but will give us the will power and strengthen us to do these things.  As will the Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16).  Now pray.  Pray for wisdom from heaven (Jas 3:17).  Pray for others (I Th 5:17) (Jas 5:16) (1 Pe 4:7).  Don’t forget all the verses about love and perseverance (Gal 5:13-14) (Heb 10:36) (Rom 13:8) (1 Tim 4:16).

Finally, be able to make changes to old habits that don’t seem to be working anymore.  Many people have given up their newspaper for the internet.  Surely we can rearrange our priorities as well as we do our pantries.

–Jim Bailey