Why I’m Rewriting My Task List Today

Character matters

I’m a “get it done” kind of girl.

Make the lunches. Do the laundry. Plan the event. Meet the need. Accomplish the goal.

You get the idea. Each day has a task list to be tackled, wrestled to the ground, and annihilated. OK, that might be a bit strong, but some days are a battle against the clock to get it all done, and my competitive (or, should I say perfectionistic) nature goes into overdrive.

I am not alone. Our culture is full of get it done people. We love “doing.”

We earn the degree. We make a living. We exercise. We plan events. We run errands, manage finances, serve our churches, and overcome crises. We. Do. All. The. Time.

Yet this morning I was reminded that “doing” doesn’t always get the prize. “Doing” only accomplishes my agenda; it doesn’t accomplish God’s. (Newsflash: God’s agenda almost always looks differently than ours.)

So what is on God’s agenda? Character.

Scripture is full of stories in which God is far more concerned with who someone is rather than what someone does. God urged:

  • Adam and Eve to be faithful
  • King David to be honest
  • Jonah to be obedient
  • Esther to be brave
  • Daniel to be determined
  • Hosea to be committed
  • Peter to be loyal
  • and, Paul to be willing to suffer for Him.
In God’s economy, being is better than doing. Character matters.

In God’s economy, being is better than doing

As I came across Psalm 15 today, God pricked my own heart, my attitudes, and yes, even my task list. Check it out:

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. (Psalm 15:1-5 NIV)

As I allowed these words to sink into my heart, I became acutely aware of the kind of person God desires me to be: blameless, righteous, truthful, and kind. He instructs me to keep my promises, even when it is inconvenient, and He urges me to meet the needs of others without expectation of return. You see, God is far more interested in my character qualities than how many balls I can juggle.

Occasionally, my task list shouts at me, demanding that I respond to the tyranny of the urgent. Today, however, will not be one of those days. Today, I will be. I don’t have the luxury of tearing up my task list, but I can use Psalm 15 as a filter for who I am as I work.

Today, be still and know that He is God. Nothing else is as important.

What about you? Are you falling victim to the tyranny of the urgent? Are you managing your task list rather than cultivating your character?

Published May 28, 2015