Letting Go of My To-Do List

Today I would like to introduce y’all to my first guest poster – Grace. 

Grace M. is a writer, piano-player, sunset-lover, and baker. She enjoys playing volleyball, eating sour gummy worms, and spending time with her family. She blogs about Christian living at Tizzies Tidbits.

 

I am one of those people that has an organized-in-theory kind of life. One of the organized-in-theory parts of my life is my to-do list. In fact, I may have To-Do List Syndrome. For instance, writing this blog post is on my to-do list; and as soon as I finish it, I’m going to cross through this task and do a mental happy dance.

But I make to-do lists too often and don’t complete the tasks on my to-do lists often enough. I have so much to do! I have to register for classes, practice piano, write a new article, and the list goes on. There’s always more to do. As soon as I feel satisfied because I finished a big job, I realize there are six more “big jobs” to do.

I don’t have the perfect solution to make your life less hectic, but I do know that you can be satisfied with work because it is actually good for you!

“But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need” (1 Thessalonians 4:10b-13, NASB).

“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, NASB).

It’s good to have work to do! It provides purpose (and food) in your life. If you have too much time on your hands, it’s easy to give into sin, like Peter mentioned in 2 Thessalonians. God graciously gave us work so that we wouldn’t be bored at home all day and so we could have food on our tables and roofs over our heads. It’s easy to daydream about a long day at home with nothing to do. However, a lifestyle like that would become boring very fast; and we’d probably feel depressed and purposeless.

But that’s only one end of the spectrum. What about the other end? Is there such a thing as putting too much emphasis on work? Of course!

I think most of us give ourselves too many tasks to complete. If you’re anything like me, you shoot high but usually end up low. I set so many goals for a day, but I only end up meeting a few of them. Then I feel like I’ve wasted all of my time (and usually I have wasted a large part of it) and that I’ll never get anything accomplished.

It’s hard to find the balance between having too many goals and not having enough goals, but this balance is important. Ideally, you’ll be busy enough to feel purposeful but not so busy that you’ll constantly feel stressed.

Don’t worry. You’ll find the balance. It may take time to find it, but the balance is there.

To-do lists are not evil. In fact, they can be incredibly helpful. Checking off a task brings satisfaction. Just remember that making your goals too important is sinful. Our most important goal should be to bring glory to God by completing the tasks He sets before us.

God gave us work for a reason. We struggle with it because of sin, but it keeps us busy. It gives us purpose, but working ourselves to death is silly and exhausting. Set realistic expectations for yourself, and if you don’t reach every one of your goals, shake it off and work on it tomorrow.

For His Great Name
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