Back to school. New beginnings. New schedules. Added stress. I have found that the Bible provides the best advice for setting priorities. Below is the scripture lesson that is published in our Production Possibility Frontier lesson, written by Hannah Strayhorn. In it, she discusses biblical principles to help establish our priorities and relieve stress.
The production possibility frontier is a model in economics that reinforces the concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost, and it is a simple lesson in prioritizing. Each of us is limited to 24 hours in a day, so time spent on one pursuit is time given up for a different pursuit. We must learn how to prioritize the things that matter most.
There are so many day-to-day things that demand our time. There are things that we must do in order to simply live. For example, our bodies need food and sleep to function properly. When you wake up in the morning, you probably brush your teeth and take a shower. You may go to the gym or go for a run to exercise. These are all important things to keep our bodies healthy, but they all require time. Then there are other things that may not be necessary to live, but they are important nonetheless. These may include school, sports, a job, church, or time with family and friends. Sometimes we can become so absorbed in completing all of the things that we must do each day that we forget the importance of spending time with our Heavenly Father. According to Scripture, this should be our top priority and the most important thing that we can do with our time.
Luke 10:38 – 42 is a story about setting priorities. In this story, Jesus is visiting the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha is frantically trying to prepare the house for guests while Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus and taking in all that He is saying. Martha is bothered by the fact that her sister is not helping her, and she mentions it to Jesus. Jesus answers her in verses 41 – 42, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Mary had her priorities correct. She desired to be near Jesus and bask in His presence. She wanted to know Him and learn from His teachings. You see, the things that Martha was doing were all good things in and of themselves. She was hosting the Lord in her home, and she wanted to be hospitable! Her desire to be hospitable was good but she missed out on something even better. She missed out on simply spending time with Jesus.
How often do we find ourselves in the same situation as Martha? We are busy with things such as school, our jobs, spending time with family and friends, applying to college, reaching out in the community, and serving the church. These are all things that honor God and bring glory to Him. But are we sacrificing precious time in prayer and reading His Word in order to accomplish all of these other things that need to be completed? Are we operating inside our spiritual production possibility frontier? If so, we are missing what is most important. In fact, it is through spending time in the Word and in prayer that we receive the strength and power from the Holy Spirit that enables us to do all of these other things for God's glory. To push out our frontier and mature in our faith, or in other words, to be completely fulfilled and satisfied in our lives as believers, it is crucial that we spend time with our Lord. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." He is the one who supplies what we need to do the things He calls us to do. We just have to trust Him and allow Him to work in us.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
See the Production Possibility Frontier lesson to learn more.