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The Difference between Prioritizing, Balancing, and Aligning

May 29, 2018

“You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32

You must choose how you will live. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might is to align your life around one consuming passion for the Lord.

1. Aligning is not prioritizing.
Aligning your life around a single passion is not the same as prioritizing. People sometimes say, “God first, family second, and ministry third.” But you can’t separate loving God and serving God. Christ lays claim to all your life, not part of it. So the language of priority does not help us here.

2. Aligning is not balancing.
When the issue of loving God and loving your family is raised, people often say, “Well, you have to keep a balance. You should have time for ministry, and time for your family. You should love the Lord, and you should love your family. Keep a balance.”

Balance sounds good, but it is a surprisingly unhelpful idea. If loving the Lord and loving your family, or serving the Lord and serving your family have to be kept in balance, it means that these two things are on opposite sides of the scale. They are being weighed against each other. You don’t want your family to be weighed against the Lord. You want your family to be weighed for the Lord. We are not looking to maintain a balance, but to achieve an alignment.

What problems have you encountered in trying to prioritize or balance your love for God and for your family?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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