“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
If I could use one word to describe the way I face life each day it would be “balance.” Proper priorities play a huge role in our ability to get everything done on our “to-do” list. With so many things vying for our attention, we must choose wisely in order to keep our priorities in line. There are so many things in which I could participate that are not necessarily wrong, but they are not necessary. I get invitations to attend various gatherings and if I accepted every one of them, I would have no time to eat, sleep, or breathe (slight exaggeration). You cannot be afraid to tell someone “no” whenever you know that committing to it would compromise your priorities.
I usually limit myself to two pastor’s conferences per year even though there are many that interest me. The reason I prioritize those is because they are tailored to the specific ministry in which I am involved: the pastorate. That is my priority in ministry, therefore, I am always looking to be encouraged and finding ways to better myself for the glory of God. Status quo should be no friend of a believer. This same principle transfers into family life as well. My wife and kids are my first priority as designed by God from the very beginning, so to neglect this area is to make myself ineffective in ecclesiastical ministry.
Now, I don’t have it all figured out—believe me! But I have seen how friends in the ministry have burned themselves out by not focusing on the task at hand and involving themselves in too many things. Some pastors are never in the pulpit because they are flying all over the world preaching. That’s fine if your ministry is that of a public speaker, but when you have a flock under your care, you need to be with them the majority of the time.
There are some events I see advertised, but the timing for them is terrible—like right during the few hours a week when the entire family is home. That’s when you graciously decline and focus on your family. Will I ever face burn-out? Who’s to say! But this I do know: when God calls you to something, He will provide every necessary tool, but you must provide the balance, because it is based on your list of priorities. What area in your life needs to be adjusted or go away altogether in order to make space for the important things? Seek Him first and He will give you wisdom to let you know what things are most profitable for you.