Life Balance: Priorities and Management
This series can be used alongside The Christian Man book and Coaching Guide as you go through The Christian Man Mentoring Experience. Click here for more mentoring tools.
Matthew 22:36-37, 1 Peter 3:7, Galatians 5:14, Psalm 1:1-3
Life tends to pull us in so many different directions and if we are not careful, the many facets of life can consume us. We’ve all set out tasks to complete through the course of a day, but sometimes those tasks are not resolved by the end of the day. This can be a result of poor planning, unexpected tasks and daily interruptions. The lack of balance and management can lead to other issues if we are not careful. Khayree Pender will show us that it is important to have an action plan. It is never too late to make adjustments or create a plan so that we do not get lost in life.
The Christian Man
Priorities and Management
Good morning, good morning. How are you doing this morning? Great. Yes, sir. Love the energy in here this morning. Thank you for having me again, as well. I need to go over these things with you guys to go over. Okay…okay. Okay, so this morning we are talking about life balances. Life balances and I’m pretty sure we all have that under control, right? Life balance is priorities and management.
So before we start, I just want to give a quick story. So growing up, you go to school, but then you also have the participation that you have at home with your parents that furthers the education that you get at school. So if you do your math, you go home and practice and do your math, you do your reading and things. So one thing that I always did struggle with was the reading part. So every time I would do something, my mother would give me some type of book to remind me on what to do. So if I had a hard day and didn’t follow instructions, she gave me a book, and I remember that book.
That book was by the Berenstain Bears and that was Inside a Box, Outside a Box, Upside Down, (Inside, Outside, Upside Down)and that talked about instructions, it talked about listening, it talking about following instructions. And then the second book was… I struggled a little bit with myself as far as keeping things together. I would come home after school or I would like to go and play before I did homework, or I didn’t do my chores. So she gave me another book and that book was called The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes. So we’re talking about life balance and priorities. So as I began to read that book, I read that book and it stuck with me a little bit because I can honestly say that sometimes if we don’t keep ourselves together, our lives and priorities together, we might end up like him.
So we had a man, an honest working man, like you guys now, and I’m pretty sure some of you guys would be leaving and going to work. He would work, go to work every day, come home and cook his self a meal and eat his meals. But he would be too tired from work. So sometimes he’ll come home again, he’ll cook and eat another meal as well. So by that time, he did this for a course of several weeks. He began to run out of dishes. He ran out of dishes and he’ll come home and cook again. But then he start putting some other things in front of his priorities and what he needed to do. So he would come home, cook, eat, maybe go to sleep. I’m so tired. Come home, mow the lawn, cook, eat again. So this cycle kept going on and on and on.
And he began to run out of dishes. So one day he came home, he had to cook and it was time to eat and he didn’t have any dishes. So he went to the nearest thing, I didn’t know it was near, this is in the book. The closest thing to him to eat his meal out of was a flower pot. So he didn’t have any dishes and said, “You know what? I need to put this food in something.” He took the nearest flower pot and began eat out of that. Next day again, the cycle kept going until he started eating out of soap dishes and off of picture frames and off of all the things that he can get off to eat his meal on. Until one day he came in, looked at his kitchen and was just upset and said, “I really need something to happen so I can get my life together.”
And out of nowhere there was a catastrophic thunderstorm and he had a great idea. “You know what? I’m going to take all these dishes outside and I’m going to wash all my dishes and I’ll never be in this place again.” Isn’t that like us? Sometimes we can begin to go through life and sometimes we’ll keep going and going and going and not put things in… And put priorities in place, or we don’t manage things until something catastrophic happens that calls us to really step back and look at what we really need to do, what really needed to happen. So he would always put those things in front of him and then he would tend to get behind. So as we began to look at our lives and think about some of the things that we have in priorities and life balances and management as well, we know that there’s some things that you say, you know what we may need to put to the forefront and tend to. Because if not, it’ll set us way back and we’ll begin to tap into things that really don’t line up what we really need.
So as a Christian man, as we began to talk about life balances and priorities, there’s one thing that’s the foundation, that’s the thing that we can build off for a Christian man and life balance is…it’s loving God, when we loving in God. There was a question that was asked in Matthew 22, 36 and 37 that says, “They said teacher, what is the greatest commandment of the law? And he replied, love. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind.” When we begin to think about our foundation, that’s the core thing that we build things off of. You want to make sure that it’s stable, you want to make sure that those things are able to withstand when things happen that we don’t even project that what happened or may catch us off guard.
So we want to make sure that we have the foundation as a Christian man and we know that it’s loving God. And it tells us, that’s one of the greatest commandments, and it tells us, we look for certain people, we look for certain things that says we look for God that we want and then we look for God that there is. And it tells us that there’s a turning point in our lives. When we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. So we began to stop seeking the God that we want and seeking the God who is. We know that God has already there. All things already worked out for us. Things that we may be seeking, things that we know that we may want or need. God is already there. What we have to check ourselves and ask is does our love really line up.
Now we all know in here that we have some things that we love and the things that we love we’re eager to get to it. We are fast to protect it. We’ll check up on it. We’ll do the proper things that we need because we love it. And we don’t never want that thing to ever feel like we don’t love it. As far as even for us, we all know what love is. We love to feel love and you want to hear those things. It’s good to hear kind words. It’s good to get gifts. It’s good to have things happen to us to let us know, you know what I feel loved. And what does it do when you feel loved and makes you want to go even harder and makes you want to go further and makes you want to go. It gives you a type of boost or push that lets you know, okay, you know what everything is all right and I can continue to go.
So as we began to get with life balances and priorities, what’s important to you? That’s one question that we can ask ourselves during the course of the day and something that we can even be able to just take for us as a nugget today to be able to just sit back and find out what’s really important to us. And then as we begin to look at those things and say, what’s really important to us, how do we begin to line those things up? How do we line them up? How do you put them in order from least to greatest? Or from greatest to least? How do you approach those things? How do you begin to look at them? And as we begin to do that, it causes us to take a self-examination of ourselves and say, “You know what? What have I been neglecting my life that really needs more attention?”
What have I been neglecting in my life that really needs more attention? Sometimes we give it that tomorrow fact, okay, you know what? I’ll deal with it tomorrow. I’ll get back to it. It can handle itself. It’s been all right this long, but what do we do? Life balances, and sometimes we don’t want to…We want to make sure that we’re able to tend to these things and nothing major happens to us that causes us to say, “You know what? I really should have been able to get with those things and make sure that I showed it the proper attention that I really needed.” So in our lives there’s things that we know that we can sort of help us be able to manage ourselves. We have on a daily…we have daily duties. Then we have short-term goals and then we have long-term goals.
DAILY, SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM
So we have our daily goals. We have some things that we know that some of us, a majority of everybody here lives off a calendar. So you have your daily goals, you know you have those things and you have to set them at a priority to what needs to be done where there’d be meetings or going somewhere or taking things that we know that in some people daily lives that one of their major things is lunch. You got to make sure you have that on there as well, right? That’s a priority, huh? We got to make sure that we feed that stomach. So, you have your daily goals and you have your short-term goals and your long-term goals. Now what happened was, I can say for myself, I have those three things, but I began to get them mixed up a little bit.
Sometimes my long-term goals began to outweigh my daily goals. That I never begin to work on my daily goals because I was focused on my long-term goals and to be honest, I’ll never see a put back from my long-term goals as quick as I went for my daily goals. So sometimes I would tend to feel defeated like, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t do anything. Nothing was accomplished today. I didn’t feel right. Things started to work on me in a different way, but I found out that if I begin to put things in order and have daily goals in a way, it always feels good to have something that you’re able to check off. It makes you feel like, okay, I’ve accomplished some things and I had it done. But do you have your short-term goals? You know those things you can handle in four to five months or so.
Some things that you are working on that you can give a little bit time to and then come back to it because you know it’s not going to have that effect or things are not going to happen right then and there. And of course, you have your long-term goals. We don’t know sometimes those things three to five years or so. So, I can honestly say that I had my priorities mixed up because my daily goals weren’t getting accomplished and I’m working on something now. I’ll never see the fruit from until three to five years later. So as we begin to look at that, we know that God is the center point is the foundation for a Christian man. When we began to think about our daily goals, what do we do? We wake up, we had devotion right here. This is something good, something that’s pouring into us and our relationship and our love with God.
Right now, we are at this Bible study. Now it can’t just be a Friday, have to be a Monday through Friday. So, I found out too that when I didn’t have my devotion, I felt like things were kind of out of whack sometimes. Sometimes I may respond different. I may look at things different, but I found out when I got up and gave God my first fruits, being able to take care of those, take all my devotion off top for my daily goal, I began to see things begin to turn and work out for me. I was able to think clear. I was able to make a rational decision. I was being able to make decisions with a clear mindset. I was able to. You say, you know what? Focus on God, help me through this and not through Khayree because sometimes my responses and the things that I want to do may not be the right way.
May not be the right way to handle those situations. So, in the morning time I would take that time out and I would focus on spending my devotion with God because after all, that is the first thing that we do. So, what is the Big Idea? Big Idea is this. It says this, it says: Living by priorities will empower you to manage the pressures that you will otherwise manage you. Living by priorities, will empower you to manage the pressures that will otherwise manage you. Can we all say that? You know what? Sometimes we haven’t managed our priorities and they tend to manage us at one point.
Okay, here’s a quick one. We have cars, we have vehicles and then let’s say we know that the change engine change oil light came on dashboard. We call that a warning or you may have your tire pressure telling you, you know what? It’s time for you to get your pressure up in your tire, but sometimes we may ignore those things until we get a flat tire or two things or till your car start smoking, you have to get an oil change.
So that quick we went from being able to change a, manage our priorities to our priorities, being able to manage us. Why? What happened? Because it just interrupted our whole schedule now because I didn’t take that time out to set it as a priority. Now that I didn’t set it as a priority, I may have had meetings set up, I may had a family events things or things to do, but then I ran into a situation with my vehicle because I ignored the priority. We have to make sure that when priorities are set that we’re able to give it the attention that it needs or it’s going to, it’s going to demand or snatch out our attention it or otherwise begin to start managing you.
What are three things that we have in those? We have God, we have family, and we have self. So we do know that the first one is God, which is our foundation. So the next one, let’s talk family slash others as well. Our neighbors, our friends are the people that we talk to on a daily basis as well. So we have to make sure that we have those things in that balance as well. So people, so one thing that we have to do as far as having priorities, we have to make sure that we balance those things out.
Family is a key part. Family is a key part. If you have a wife or if you have children or some of us may have close friends that we are in contact with, we have to make sure that we have those things as well. But one thing that helps us resolve and keep those things together as well as love, as we begin to look at it, we look at those things when we have our, excuse me, the Scripture, it says this in first Peter three and seven so this one is for family, says husbands in the same way. Be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with the respect as the weaker partner and as gracious as the gift of life. So, nothing will hinder them. That’s first Peter three and seven and therefore our close friends, Galatians, it tells us this Galatians and five and 14 it says for the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
So, one balancing keyword that we have with both of them is love. We know that love is there. It’s an essential to keep things going. Sometimes our priorities may get in the way and sometimes things may not go the way that we feel as though that they need to, but what is the key balance that we have to keep us functioning? Keeping our communication together, keeping our thoughts together, and that’s the love. As we understand that we go through it tells us to make sure we keep that love in the center place with our family, with our friends, we have God as the foundation.
We have to make sure that we tend to our family and we tend to our friends. Those things all take a certain type of balance. We all know that if you have kids or you have nieces or nephews, we understand that certain children don’t tend to act up or do certain things and if they’re not getting the attention, if they’re getting the attention from their loved ones, things are fine and things are coasting. But I found out that when they’re not seeking the attention or getting the attention, they tend to act up. I was a middle school teacher for two years and I saw the effect of no attention with students. You had certain students that you had to give a lot of attention to and then you had students that you, you know what they were able to say, you know, hearing their conversations and speak to them.
So, I found out the ones that wasn’t really getting attention started to act up. They would get in trouble. They would scream, they would holler. And these are middle school students. They will do all types of things. You would think they would have a little bit of maturity in them. But I found out that phase with middle school students, they’re just trying to figure out elementary, you can mold them. Middle school, they’re trying to figure out who they are. One day they adopted the next day they, their artists. They’re all types of things. So you have to give them that attention. So we have to understand certain things may seem like it’s, it’s out of place and may seem like things aren’t going well or the way that they need to. It’s the attention that needs to be given. We have to understand with life balances, we have to begin to manage those things when they’re not managed in certain things that filled the neglect from it.
S.A.P: SPECIFIC ACTION PLAN
So as we begin to look through our lives, we can think, “Okay, what are some things that I know that I seem like they’re out of place right now?” That may be screaming at us that’s asking for our attention that our balance may be off a little bit, that we haven’t revisited. That we haven’t looked at that. We haven’t searched that we haven’t touched to some things that we haven’t been able to go look at or even give the time that it’s really pulling for as well. So we began to look at those things and then we look at it. We have, we have a specific action plan, I like to call it SAP, S-A-P specific action plan. When you think about SAP, the SAP is real sticky, real sticky, so you want to make sure that your specific action plan begins to stick. What is the action plan? What do I need to do so?
So, sometimes we really don’t know. I had a poor problem with managing and balancing things because I didn’t begin to put things in order. So certain things that we know that we need to begin to look at or do to get things in order, we need a specific action plan. What can I do? Of course, I know I may not be able to get to everything at one time, but I know that there’s certain things that I can get to and that’s when the priority and management begins to line up. So priority and management begins to line up our specific action plan. What is your action plan? What do I need to do? I need to make sure that I’m able to line certain things up and in order and have a hard stop. Sometimes I would just say, you know what?
I’m going to go and do this and that will take over all my time, but I didn’t have a hard stop. Not knowing that there were other things that are had to tend to as well. Certain things that we haven’t, that we’re dealing with. And you may say there’s things that I know that I need to get with some things that I need to touch, but if we have to have a hard stop in certain things, it’s not that you don’t love it, it’s not that you’re not giving it all your time, but you know what? I have to have a hard stop because there’s some other things that I know I need tend to. And I found out the hard stop the wrong way through my wife. It was a rough one. I know that we had a dinner plan, but I went and did, I went to a game, I said, you know what, I can squeeze the game in for a little bit, I’ll go to the game and then I’ll leave from here, pace myself out so I can get home, get myself cleaned up and get to dinner.
So, I went, you know, have my alarm set in the game. Not to say that it was a finals game and there was a lot of screaming to go off and let me know, okay, this is the time. So, I was watching the game, the game was great. I’m going and it got good. So, I said, all right, I’m going to leave. So, I left from my seat and went to the aisle and continued to watch a little bit more. Not knowing that time was still going. So, I went from the aisle to the median where the number is and watched a little bit more and more time as going. Went down one layer, came down through another one and looked again. Stop looking at the game some more. Oh, it gets better. As I made my way out, it was on the big screen. I stopped, look and watched some more.
By that time, I was already behind. Reservations were already missed and while I’m still here, so that’s a great thing. Let’s just say we could do that. And I found out about that hard stop. So, my, my, what I thought was a priority to meet what I love in a fit with something else and caused a ripple effect. So, I found out, you know what, I really have to have that hard stop and put a look. See, well, one thing about us, I know about man, we can gauge our ETA time as an estimated time of arrival. I think we probably need to add extra still today. I want to give you guys an extra 10 minutes on your ETA so you can make sure you get there. My ETA was probably a good eight to 12 minutes, which is not really good or probably need a good 20 to 25 so I can make sure just anything that may happen.
So, I didn’t have a hard stop and my priority was mixed up and it began to fall into something else and it began to cause problems for me because I didn’t have things lined up. That was my management, that was my poor management and I found out what happened or when they needed to be done and I was able to adjust it. And that became a part of my specific action plan. Okay. You know what? Cut this off at a hard stop. Get your times together so you could make sure that you’re able to function and get to where you need to be and things will be able to be, you can be able to fulfill those things that are already lined up for yourself. So, you may say, what do I need for my specific action plan? I’m not too sure. I’m not sure about your agenda. I’m not sure about your…I’m not sure about the things that you have to do, but there’s some things that you know that you need to line up and you have to be on point with it. You can’t dance around or to speak around it to make sure that it’s fulfilled as well. The Big Idea, again: Living by priorities will empower you to manage the pressures that will otherwise manage you. It’s a sad thing when our priorities begin to manage us, we know that things that we need to line up, whether it’s going to the doc, you don’t. If you feel a pain, it’s a priority. Go take care of it versus making sure that it doesn’t get to a bad place before you have to tend to it. I’ve had tons of stories about priorities and things that go on, so we want to make sure that you’re managing it and it’s not managing you, so what is it?
ADJUSTMENT AND ACTIVATE
Adjustment and being active. We have to adjust some things and then we have to be active with it. We have to adjust it and be active. All right. There’s some things that we know that we have lined up and we have to begin to start putting them in different categories to make sure that we’ve tended to them. And then we have to make the minor adjustments as well. So sometimes it may cause us to be pulled into different directions because of the adjustments. But after you adjust it, you can’t wait and just have it say, okay, I have it right now it’s time for us to activate it. You have to activate all the adjustments that we put in place. You activate those things and begin to see certain things begin to pick up. So now that you have God is the base. We’re making sure that priorities and Lord and these are just three simple ones to add on, which is the main thing as a Christian man and we have family, you have friends and then of course you have yourself.
Let’s think about self now we all have our priorities now as we begin to line them up. We know we think about it. Well for myself, self was at first and it was God and it was family and friends and everything else. Because let’s be honest, I want to fulfill the things that I want. I want to make sure that I’m getting the best buck of myself and during the course of the day as well. But when we begin to look at those things, it calls things to be out of order as well. So, we have to make sure that we’re taking care of what needs to be done.
To says this in Psalms one chapter one verses one through three it says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way of the centers or take or sit in the company of mockers, but those who delight in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night. The person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in a season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do prospers.”
So making sure that you stand firm in what it is that you put together, your action plan, your adjustments, you’re activating those things stay in from and what it is that you do. Sometimes you may get pulled to the left or the right to do other things, but if it doesn’t fit and what it is that you have lined up, you have to make sure that you don’t waiver to those things that you stuck in. You’re rooting into what it is that you have. I found out that when you’re able to put things in, when you able to prioritize and begin to manage and have life balances, people are able to benefit from a better you.
You having your priorities together, you have in your life balances together. How can people benefit from a better you by you having these things together? Let’s just be honest. Sometimes people can’t really have a conversation with us because we ripping and running. We’re back and forth. Oh, okay. I’ll call you back. I would hate to show you my voicemails because the priorities that together, what can I do? How can I get things together? In my life so people can benefit from a better me. How can I get things lined up or manage things better so that they can benefit from a better me? One thing I found out is that you may say, how can they benefit from a better view? Well, you need somebody else on the other end of that Seesaw so you can enjoy the fun. If there’s nobody else on that other end, there is no balance.
You be stuck in the same place and certain people wait for you to give them that balance that they need as well so they can benefit from a better you, better you from putting your priorities together. Now self, I don’t want anybody to feel as though, okay, dang, I can’t take no time out for self. I can’t do this now. You need that. You need that time to digress. You need that time to get yourself together. You need that time to have your mind reset it, to have yourself reset as well because not only are you dealing with your priorities, but dealing with your priorities and people. You’re dealing with those things as well. Then that’s another thing to manage and I don’t think I’ve seen anybody in here juggling or doing anything for any type of circus and things like that. If you give me anything to juggle, I have a hard time.
I’ll just have to pass these things through to make sure I’m not dropping anything. I’m not skilled enough to juggle those things and in the, based on some of the things that we may have to deal with, some things may be bigger than us, bigger than other situations as well. So, we have to take time out and say, you know what, I’m not neglecting anybody. I’m not neglecting those things. But what small, what needs to be done? What can I do? What needs to be, what can be set aside from what it is that needs to be done. So we have, God is the base foundation. We have God as our base foundation and then we know we need to take our focus and our time as well and give it to the people that’s close to us, our family, our wives, our children, our close friends, our relatives.
We need to make sure that there’s a balance and then as well, and then we also need to make sure that we have balanced for self as well because in our movement and the things that we do, we have to understand that we still have our devotion to do. We still have financial things that we need to take care of. There’s things that we need to get there, our health so that people can benefit from a better us as we’re going through our lives. So life balances, priorities and management. What do we do? We have to make sure we don’t push things aside, take care of things that need to be taken care of right then and there because we don’t want to be overwhelmed. We talked about the man who didn’t wash his dishes and something catastrophic had to happen for him to get his life back together.
We want to make sure that we have things together, that we’re aligning things up so that something catastrophic doesn’t have to happen to get our attention. We don’t want those things to happen and we want to make sure that we keep our life balances. Amen. And let’s pray. Dear Lord, we thank you for this day. We thank you for blessing each and every one of us. Father, we thank you for this time. We want to stand here today and say, we really don’t know it all. We don’t want to claim that we do. So, we asked you today to help us with our life, our balances, and our priorities. Moreover, so guide our management as well. Father, if we’d done anything and we found out today that you are at the top of our priorities and we have pushed you away or misplaced you in the courses of our lives, we ask that you forgive us as we begin to get ourselves together today. Help us line up the things that need to be done in a way that be pleasing to you. In your name, we pray, Jesus. Amen.