Last weekend I had the privilege of coordinating a local conference for women in ministry called “Refresh.” It was designed to encourage women who invest themselves in serving their churches and communities. The focus was connecting with Jesus and connecting with each other. It was wonderful to see the Lord touch the hearts of women dedicated to service, rejuvenating them to continue their work.
It’s wonderful to attend a retreat, to get away and unplug from demands. But going from retreat to retreat isn’t the answer for staying refreshed. It’s important for men and women alike to practice strategies in order to serve well for the long haul. People in leadership tend to overcommit. We are a part of the 20 per cent that do 80 per cent of the work. Unfortunately, our faithfulness to get tasks done often crowds out space for the things God desires for us. We need to discern between good things and God things, so we can thrive.
Good things are indeed things that are good, but they aren’t God’s best things for you right now in this season of life.
God things are those things that God has asked you to do in this season, and He gives you the grace to accomplish them.
Choosing God things means setting priorities and saying “no” to good things without feeling guilt.
Admittedly it’s not easy to pinpoint God things, especially when we are surrounded by good things vying for our attention. There are seven filters that I find helpful to remove good things from my full plate.
- The stress factor. How much stress does this add to your life? You weren’t created for regular doses of stress and drama.
- Your passion. How passionate are you about this? Is this something you enjoy and love?
- Your strengths. Are you using your God-given strengths, skills, and spiritual gifts?
- Health assessment. How healthy are you? How much rest and down time do you require to care well for your body?
- Time management. We all have 24 hours in a day. Is it wise to spend time on this?
- Input from others. What does your spouse or trusted friend say about this?
- A sense of peace. When you pray about it, do you have a sense of peace? Pay attention to any unsettling or anxious feelings.
Be intentional about selecting God things, and thrive in God’s calling on your life.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Heavenly Father, I desire for my life to be filled with You. Give me Your wisdom and help me to follow the plans You have for me. May I honor You by choosing God things over good things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.