Encouragement · Faith, Life, and Marriage · The Encouragement Corner

Escaping Lists

Yesterday was a really good day. I got so much stuff from my to-do list done & it made me feel so good.

Today, though? Today I’m already tired & worn, but it’s still early in the morning. I’m already thinking about how much is on my to-do list for the day & I feel it like a weight on my mind instead of something I’m excited to work through.

If you’re a type-A personality like myself, you likely know the feeling. Some days that list makes you feel like you’ve conquered the world as you admire how much you crossed off at the end of the day. But some days it makes you feel like a failure when there are more to-dos left at the end of the day than there are to-dones.

This has always been a struggle for me & it’s become more obvious since I transitioned to working from home this year. I have constantly felt the weight of all the things I’ve wanted to catch up on. I race around during nap time to get as much done as possible. You may think I’m joking, but there have been days where I have literally sprinted from emptying the dishwasher to the washing machine upstairs just to try to shave off some seconds- it’s bad y’all.

Over the past few weeks God has been working on this in my heart. He’s made me aware of the weight that the to-do list has put on my heart & mind. He’s making me aware of the days I’m measuring my worth based on the number of crossed-off items- good & bad days. He’s reminding me that this is not the truth. My list is not my value & it doesn’t determine it, either. How much I get done does not measure my worth.

He does.

His Word tells us our value:

for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20, CSB

When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that You remember him, a son of man that You look after him? You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet…” – Psalm 8:3-6, CSB

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…” – Ephesians 1:3-5, CSB

While the context of these scriptures may deal with other topics, they still reflect the main point- that God loves each & every human on planet earth. He made each of us with a purpose & He made each of us to worship Him…not our to-do lists.

Putting more stock in how much of a to-do list we’ve completed than what God thinks of us is a form of worship, a form of idolatry. It is sin. God’s Word also says that sin is a form of bondage & slavery, & maybe that’s a bit of where our soul-weight & weariness stems from when we’re relying on the list.

In all of this, I know I’m saying “we” a lot, but trust me, I’m preaching to the choir. So often I measure my value by my lists, I race around to get more done to make myself feel good about myself, I let myself feel like garbage when I don’t, I feel chained to the list, so often I try to do it all in my own strength; but more & more God is teaching me to do my best but to ultimately rely on Him & that whatever I do, to do it for His glory. More & more He has been calling me to pray & rest in Him, & rely on Him for my “daily bread” rather than relying on myself.

Don’t get me wrong, not relying on a to-do list isn’t an excuse to be lazy. Check out 1st & 2nd Thessalonians for that. I will still be making my regular to-do lists, but I’m being more intentional about reminding myself that God is the true source of my value…

Not my list.

Be blessed, friends.

What’s one thing you can do today to be more intentional about not worshiping the list, but worshiping the Lord?

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