Principles to live by: More Truths for Organized living

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In my final segment of Truths for an Organized Life, I want to share with you 2 principles that, if followed, can help you have the organized life you want.

Principle 1: Give thought to your ways

Have you ever made a hasty decision, only to regret it later? That happened to me all the time until I came across this passage of Scripture:

"The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil." (Proverbs 15:28)

I learned that I needed to weigh my answers when requests or demands came my way. That meant telling others, "Can I get back with you on this?" rather than saying, "Sure I can!". By giving myself the time to pray about the situation and see if it was something I should be doing, to discuss it with my family to see if it was feasible for us, and to check my schedule to make sure there weren't any conflicting interests, then I could have peace about the answer I needed to give, whether positive or negative.

By applying this principle to my life I was no longer doing things I didn't want to be doing, nor was I doing things out of obligation. Instead, I was choosing to do things because I had thought it through and had confidence that I should be doing it!

If you find yourself rushing into activities and commitments, only later to find yourself dreading the thought of participating in them, I want to encourage you to take the step to "give thought to your ways" (Prov. 14:8). Maybe you need to mull it over for a day or two, talk about it with others whom you trust, or do some research or future planning. Unless this is a dire situation, taking the time to consider your options will not bring impending doom. Rather it will keep you from missing the way you are supposed to go (Prov. 19:2), from poverty of time, spirit, and resources (Prov. 21:5), and from foolishness (Prov. 29:20)!

Principle 2: Learn to Delegate

I am a control freak. I have a warped belief that if something needs to be done, I am the only person who can do it and do it right. I carried that belief with me until I was burned out and exhausted and the reality that I was not Wonder Woman sunk in. No matter how much I tried or wanted to, I couldn't do it all -- I required help. With that knowledge, I learned I needed to delegate.

At first relinquishing control was not easy. What if I delegated a task and it wasn't completed to my liking, or in the manner in which I would have done it? Would it still be acceptable?

As usual, Scripture answered all my questions. Tucked away in Exodus 18, I found the importance and necessity of delegating to others. Let me summarize it for you:

Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, observed the work Moses was doing for the nation of Israel (roughly a million or so people). When Jethro saw all that Moses was responsible for he told him, "What you are doing is not good. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone" (vv. 17-18). Then Jethro gave Moses some instructions, "Teach the men the them the way to trustworthy and capable men...and have them serve..." (vv.20-22).

If you and I are to delegate by Jethro's wisdom then we need to:

  • recognize that doing it all on our own is not in our best interests,
  • teach others what to do,
  • show them how to do it,
  • trust their abilities,
  • let them do it!
When we do this, then delegating becomes easier and everyone benefits! Jethro knew this as well. He told Moses, "That will make your load lighter, because they will share the load with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied" (vv. 22-23). Hmmm...lighter loads, less strain, satisfaction? Why wouldn't you want to delegate??

I truly believe that to have an organized life, these 2 principles must be a central part of our lives. I don't think we'd find the guidance we have in Scripture concerning them if that wasn't true. They may not always be easy principles to implement, but once we develop the habit of them in our lives, we'll see that life is more fulfilling. And isn't that what you and I want?

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are." I hope you will choose today to make these 2 principles sacred in your journey towards organized living.

It is also my prayer that you have been encouraged and inspired by my posts, Truths for Organized Living. Having an organized life is not an easy journey and I hope that you will not grow weary in doing good, but know that in the end it will reap a harvest if you do not give up (Galatians 6:9). God wants this for your life and so do I!