We live in a world that is trying to grab our attention, and we can often find ourselves giving our attention to things that are not important to us. If we do not prioritize what we value in life, we can fall into patterns of focusing on things that are not meaningful to us. We can often find ourselves with our priorities out of order: placing too much emphasis on things that aren't that important neglecting important priorities. If we are able take the time to set our priorities straight, and keep them front and center, then we can have clarity in how we spend our time, money, and energy, and make decisions.
Here is a list of priorities in my life:
God. We are created by God. We are saved by God. And we are made for a relationship with God. Prioritizing God means living according to the bible. It means sharing God's love and truth. It means spending time with God in prayer, reading Scripture, and serving others.
Marriage. Marriage is a life long commitment that takes work to grow and deepen. Keep communicating. Love another, give sacrificially. Root for each other. Be patient and forgiving.
Children. One of the greatest miracles and joys in life is to have children. It is our responsibility as parents to protect, provide for, teach, and raise our children.
Work. Having a job is not only important to make money, but it also provides meaning to our lives. We each have unique skills, interests, and experiences. It is important to have a job that fits who you are and where you can grow as a person.
Money. Money is a necessary part of life, but it can also become an idol. Greed can fuel our obsession to make more money and to be financially rich.
Material possessions. Advertising tells us that we won't be happy until we buy their product. It is important use things functionally but not need them for our happiness.
Status, reputation. It is important to make good first impressions, to be presentable in public, and to have the respect of others. But prioritizing your status too much can become problematic in compromising your values, being a chameleon, and changing in order to please those around you.
Safety. Basic needs. We all need food, clothing, and shelter. We need to be physically and mentally healthy. We need sleep and to take care of our bodies to be healthy. We need money and access to resources to be stable in these basic needs. When our safety and basic needs are taken from us, our priorities can become upended.
Personal growth. We have a desire to grow, progress, mature, and not feel like we are stuck in life. Concepts such as self-actualization, self-esteem, self-confidence, agency, can drive us to learn, take risks, and pursue opportunities. But this pursuit can often become selfish and self-absorbing.
It is helpful to write out what your priorities are. It is helpful to identify which priorities are functionally motivating my life: Where am I spending most of my time and money? What am I thinking and worrying about the most? It is helpful to put your priorities in the right order. It is helpful to set goals, make commitments, and set plans for my life that are consistent with my priorities.