My brother and I were talking about church.
We talk about church a lot. We’re both always right so it’s good we are on roughly the same page. We talk about all aspects of church. Growing up as pastor’s sons and my brother now a pastor it’s been a part of our lives since the very beginning.
We talked a little about how to encourage people to live a more compassionate life. We agreed that there is a large portion of people who have the language (you might say missional, other centred, whatever) and but still don’t’ apply it.
I said it was priorities that hold people back.
He said it was time.
The more we talked about it the more we realized that priorities and time are two sides of the same compassionate life style blocking coin. It’s a big complicated coin.
I said it was priorities because people make time for what matters. They do what’s most important first and work their way down. I’ve written about this before.
He said that part of the problem about saying its priorities makes it sound like something else. Another thing that needs to be added. I’ve got work, soccer practices, church, Home Church, volunteering, date night and now you want me to add compassion into that too? Nope, sorry I’m just too busy.
He’s right (and so am I but we’ll get there).
Talking about it like a priority makes it sound like more. The idea is that you live a life of compassion. It’s not something you add it’s how you go to work, soccer practices, church, Home Church, volunteering, date night and the way you spend your time while you’re there. Is the way you live your life.
Not something more, a change to how. So he’s right. That’s the call of Jesus in our lives.
But that’s big and scary and for a lot of people who are working towards the life style, the all-encompassing nature is too much. It’s all or nothing. So he’s right.
And that’s why I often start with priorities. Changing the way you live is hard. It will take commitment and effort and a struggle. So I ask you to start small. Prioritize this new way of living over a few other things in your life by engaging in timed events to get started. Planning to meet with your neighbours, plan to go out to the pub with a co-worker. Prioritize relationships as a start.
In the end it won’t be a priority but rather a way of living. For me though, I think prioritizing some time for relationship is a good first step to that changed life.