Continued from here.
Another telltale sign of someone who is spiritually mature is that he or she consistently prioritizes people over tasks. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus also identified the second greatest:
‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus replied: ‘‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’ And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” ~ Matt. 36-40
I, personally, find this commandment to be more difficult than the greatest commandment because I am, by nature, a task-oriented person. I have the spiritual gift of administration; thus, I see the tasks that need to be completed more clearly than most people do. However, the problem is not my awareness of necessary tasks – it’s my spiritual immaturity in regards to loving others.
I believe this is one reason God has placed me in a ministry requiring lots of personal relationship-building. On a daily basis, I am placed in a position of having to decide whether to prioritize a person or a task. My natural inclination is to prioritize the task, but that’s not God’s priority – it is always people. That’s not to say that the tasks are not important. They are! However, people are the priority, not the tasks. As I am obedient to God is following His priorities, He supernaturally provides the time to attend to the tasks. The fact that I must continually remind myself of this is an indicator of my lack of spiritual maturity in this area. As I mature, this will become less challenging for me as my priorities align with God’s.
God loves, and Jesus died for, every single person you interact with. This makes each and every person a higher priority than your to do list for the day. Of course, we need God’s wisdom and discernment for knowing how and when to interact with each person. Sometimes we need to set boundaries in regards to time and energy. However, those boundaries must align with God’s priorities and not our own. This is an area in which I am still growing, so I don’t have as many words of wisdom to offer in this area, only that I am in the trenches with you and that I need God’s help daily (hourly??) to balance prioritizing people with completing the tasks that God has placed before me.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace running with a long to-list and saying, “I’m on it!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]