When to Cheat Part II

Posted: January 8, 2008 in Church Leadership

There have probably been literally thousands of messages on having the right priorities and making sure the right things get the right attention.  I am not interested in getting people to reorganize their priorities.  My point is two-fold.

One, you and I are likely just like everyone else.  We have a wish list of priorities (what you wish you valued) and then the real list of priorities (what you show you value by your behavior).  In other words people say they value their family, so they quite at 5 PM sharp and head home.  When they get there they veg on the couch, turn on the TV, catch up on their favorite sports team on the Internet, and whatever else they can do to chill.  They pay little attention to their wife and kids, but at work they play the part of “family man/women” because they make their family a priority by jetting out the door when the whistle blows.

My second point is that the hypocrisies we often use in getting out of work…let me get back to that.  Working a lot and working well aren’t the same thing.  I know lots of people who think putting in hours is the same as working hard and producing.  I can sit all day in my office, even all night, and get 80 hours on the clock without being fruitful with my time.  Often in the life of a minister there are times when the work has to happen after 5 PM or on Saturday or on your day off.  It doesn’t mean that we refuse it means that we balance.

Back to my second point, the hypocrisies of getting out of stuff often lead to overcompensation in another area.  We feel that we are cheating our family by spending too much time at work or working all of the time or thinking about work on our days off.  It could be true, what if God gives you a good idea on Friday morning while you are out to eat with your wife?  What if you think of the solution to a hitch at work when you are playing catch with your son?

I don’t mean to sound like a slave-driving manager trying to talk his employees into cheating his/her family.  I just believe that a passion for your job isn’t necessarily a critical flaw and an individual that checks their e-mail on Saturday isn’t a sinner.  Sometimes common sense is in short supply.  However we have to use that gauge in your head that tells you when you have milked a joke past being funny or teased someone to the point where they are going to get mad in the same way to decide when you are crossing the invisible line between fanaticism and passion.

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