Every person I have ever met says with great conviction that they hold certain things as valuable in their life. For some it is people, others say a job, a hobby or even a prized pet. However, when I really examine what they do, it becomes painfully clear exactly where their real priorities are focused. You see, what we value in life, I mean what we honestly hold dear, is always reflected in where we invest our time and money. Whenever there is a discrepancy between what we say and what we actually do, trouble will be like a massive storm that is right on the horizon.
In doing marriage counseling over the years I am always amazed when a husband says he loves his wife but he just can’t understand why his wife and marriage are doing so poorly. Yet when we look at his track record of time and finances it only takes a moment to see where his real priorities are. Yes, he did take his wife out for dinner on their 10th anniversary and he even bought her a card. That was a wonderful investment of perhaps $60 and 2 hours of his time. However, when you compare that to the $1200 he spent on a new deer rifle or the endless hours he and his buddies sat watching football while his wife sat alone, it becomes abundantly clear what he really values in life.
What about you? Is there a genuine connection between what you say has value and what you demonstrate is valuable? When our words and actions don’t line up we are usually the last one to recognize this for what it is. We think we are doing great and just setting the world on fire when those closest to us can see it’s just not so. What we all need is a wake up call, a reality check from time to time. It needs to come from someone we genuinely respect and will actually listen to. Unfortunately, many people live life on the surface and have no such sounding board in their life. The end result is that we tend to live a selfish, self-absorbed life that works for us, but it is silently killing those around us.
For me, it’s my wife Esther. She has the perfect mix of strength, love, honesty and truthfulness that grabs my attention. Her words, on more than one occasion, have been the voice of reason that got right in my face. When I was distracted or disconnected from what was really important, she has been there by my side. Especially when I lost sight of those landmarks which we both hold as truly valuable, her voice helped me find my bearings once again. My question for you is, do you have such a person in your life, and if you do, do you really appreciate their ability to keep you focused on what is of genuine value?
If you have wandered without clear vision, if you have gotten bogged down in a swamp of unfruitful activity, perhaps it’s time to consider something. When you strip all else away, who is it you turn to in those times you need to be absolutely honest? What one person, or couple, on planet earth do you know who will be painfully truthful when you need it most? If you can answer that question you really are blessed!
In case you don’t realize it, these my friends, are the most important people in your life. They hold the key to that which really has value for you. Let me encourage you to connect with them on a regular basis. Allow them to do their work, as painful as it is, and they will help you keep your life compass pointed in the right direction. Trust me when I say you’ll be much happier for it, and so will everyone around you. The bottom line is quite simple; life is way too short to be lived in any other way. Pursue those things your really value and everyone, including yourself, will be much better off for it!