Learn to Pause and Pray Before Adding to Your Schedule
“It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows” (Proverbs 20:25 NIV).
When you learn to pause and pray before making a decision, you are helping to slow your life down to a more manageable level.
Proverbs 20:25 says, “It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows” (NIV).
What is God saying? Ponder before promising. Deliberate before deciding. Muse before you choose. Reflect before you select. Consider your commitments prayerfully and carefully before you decide. Pause and pray before deciding. That will slow your life down.
One thing I’ve had to learn the hard way is you can’t just keep adding things to your schedule without eliminating some. Every time you add a new activity to your schedule, you need to take something off.
One of my mentors, Peter Drucker, used to say to me, “Don’t tell me what new thing you’re doing. Tell me what you’ve stopped doing.” The mark of leadership is knowing what to stop and what to cut out. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think you are. You’re going to burn out!
Do you have a hard time cutting out activities from your schedule? When you’re faced with an opportunity, you need to do three things:
- Ask, “Is it worth it?” Is it worth your time, energy, effort, reputation, or money?
- Ask, “What am I going to give up?” Consider the cost.
- Learn to say “no.” It’s the greatest time saver in life!
I live an extremely fast-paced life, and your life may seem crazy at times, too. But I also know how to slow down. You need to learn to do the same by taking these three steps and taking time to pause and pray before adding more to your already full schedule.
Talk It Over
- Why is it so difficult for us to say “no” to new opportunities?
- How can you help your kids learn to prayerfully reflect and consider before adding to their schedules?
- What new things have you added to your schedule in the last month? What things can you remove from your schedule to create margin in your life?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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