I have been asking myself a question a lot lately, "What are my priorities costing me?" Or, said another way, "What are my excuses costing me?"
My choices are most likely determined by my priorities. There are plenty of ideas about life that I have floating around in my head, but I usually don't like the sacrifice that they cost me.
For instance, I love the idea of living a deep life full of rich relationships and adventure. But, I often find myself settling for TV and shallow conversations with those I love. I can say whatever I want, but depth is not a priority. In this case I will make excuses that justify how I am living or what I am or am not doing, but these excuses come with a cost.
It is a strange form of self-betrayal. Some of things I say I genuinely want to doI simply don't do. I betray the Spirit of the Lord within me. He has given me these new longings and affections. I also betray myself. But, in another way I completely satisfy myselfmy laziness, my procrastination or my own selfish desires (Romans 7:21-25). It gets messy when I think about it.
So, what are your excuses costing you? Health? Spiritual vitality? Relationships? Your marriage?
Don't fool yourself. You are really great at justifying why you are the way you are. You can also garner a whole list of allies who will agree with you and feed life into your excuses, but you are still missing the point (Proverbs 12:15). There is a cost involved, and we usually understand it on the back end of a poor decision, fractured relationship, health issues or a life full of regret.
It is God's good grace toward me that He is pressing this question on me. I want to run it through every area of my life. I really do want to drink deeply and steward this life well. I want to walk faithfully and fully with Christ. I want to love my wife like Christ loves the Church; commend the works of the Lord to my children and invest in my overall health nownot when I am out of excuses. It will take action over intention. These will all take sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2). Nothing could be more worth it.
As we enter the Advent season, take some time to examine your life, priorities and possible excuses that you have grown accustomed to in your life.