“Could you speak at our conference in May?”
The opportunity was solid gold. The invitation was a high honor and a pleasant surprise.
“We would like to offer you . . .”
The number was almost too good to pass up.
One glance at the calendar, however, revealed the unpleasant reality that had become Tom’s new normal. He was overcommitted.
What does overcommitment look like? For Tom, it included all the normal duties related to home and work with a wee bit of recreation thrown in for good measure. It was highlighted by an international business trip, an overnight planning retreat, and professional training he would facilitate all in the same two-week span surrounding the out-of-town speaking engagement offer before him.
What to do, what to do?
What would you do?
What are you doing?
How do you process decisions like these?
Will Mancini tells us in Church Unique that values are filters for daily decision making. Have you articulated your personal core values? How do you use them to make decisions that honor God and serve others?
One of my top four values is Family Time. This is important because how I spend time is how I calculate value. I want to give my best attention to those who mean the most to me.
Proverbs 5:8-10 sits within a passage about avoiding adultery. Listen to the wise counsel Solomon speaks to his sons — and to us: “Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house” (NIV 1984)
Avoid, he says, anyone or anything redirecting you from the course God lays out for you. Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” (Matt. 6:13). Expand that prayer a bit: “Lead me step by step, thought by thought, word by word throughout this day. Lead me far from tests I still cannot pass and temptations too great for me.”
Solomon instructs us to give our best strength to those we love most. When we wander from our primary commitments, we endanger those relationships. It does not take much imagination to understand the implications of Solomon’s timeless wisdom.
The Life Younique process includes values discovery and articulation. Values are on display everywhere we look when we know what to look for.
For example, why did you select the car you drive?
Our family needed to purchase a car some years ago. We searched for a used model because my bride the Certified Public Accountant cannot abide the depreciation that accompanies driving a new car off of a dealer’s lot. We wanted an automobile we could pass along to our daughter when she began driving.
We live in a major metropolitan area filled with all kinds of roadways, highways, and drivers. We wanted a car that was safe, got good gas mileage, and was somewhat stylish.
We chose a used Volvo S40. It was a fun car to drive and fit our every need. It even came in our daughter’s favorite car color. Her philosophy regarding cars is, “If it ain’t black, take it back.”
Once our daughter began driving and my wife switched to another used black Volvo, we saw our values collide with reality. Or maybe it is more accurate to say reality collided with our daughter’s Volvo.
She and a good friend were turning left at a busy intersection when a driver ran the red light and slammed into the side of her little black Volvo.
Arriving at the scene, I discovered a car that was crumpled and bent. I feared the worst regarding the health and wellbeing of our daughter and her friend. To my delight, they were both standing nearby. Neither bore a bump, bruise, or scratch.
While the outside of the car looked really, really bad, the inside was nearly perfect. The only indication of a problem from there were the airbags hanging loose.
I like Volvos.
Let’s say Tom shared my Family Time value. He would know that his overstuffed calendar could not endure one more major event without damaging his home life. As amazing and lucrative as the event was because his family was far more valuable to him, the answer was an easy, “No, thank you.
Align your life with what you say matters most. Say yes only to what you sift through your core values. Relieve yourself of the regret of saying yes to those things that are out of alignment with your values. Learn to say, “I’m sorry, but I have another priority at that time.”
Questions for Reflection and Action
- What are your core values?
- How well do your life management decisions align with what you say is most important to you?
- How will you reward yourself the next time you say, “I’m sorry, but I have another priority at that time,”?
- How does it make your loved ones feel when you overcommit at their expense?
- How do you demonstrate how precious the people closest to you are to you?
Want more information about the power of names and other aspects of your personality? Go to www.lifeyounique.com or email me at email@example.com.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.