Life management is a term thrown around so much you might think you’re a loser unless you have a colorful binder for all your important documents and learn to implement all the productivity hacks you see online.
You think if you could just manage your time better then everything else would fall into place and life would manage itself.
You have big dreams and good intentions. But they don’t have power to accomplish anything and those productivity hacks are just gloomy reminders of how unproductive you really are.
Time isn’t the problem.
You are the problem!
Whether you have three hours or three months to do something doesn’t matter if you have zero self-discipline.
Does Your Messy Life Make You Feel Anxious?
The house is a mess. You were embarrassed when an old friend stopped by without warning. You hoped she wouldn’t notice but when you had to move piles of paper off the couch to make room for her to sit, there was no hiding it. You lied and said you had been sick but the clutter everywhere told the truth that you hadn’t cleaned in weeks.
Worse yet, you can’t find where you left last week’s mail and your credit card bill is due soon. You had to pay a late fee last month and they won’t give you another chance but will probably double your interest rate.
After sorting through different piles of bills in different rooms for two hours, you finally found the bill but now you don’t have time to cook before going to the parent/teacher conference at school. You’re going to have to pick up burgers on the way and leave the kids in the car to eat while you attend the meeting.
Eating burgers on the go makes you overweight and unhappy. You keep buying bigger size clothes but nothing can cover the shame you feel for letting yourself go.
But worse yet, you’re unhealthy! When you can’t find a close enough parking spot, you have to stop and catch your breath before you get the groceries to the car. You know you should exercise, but with all the extra weight, you’re too tired and can’t do much before you’re out of steam.
How many other problems are you suffering because you’re undisciplined?
Are you afraid of losing more time, money and energy because you can’t get your act together?
Would you say you are living a meaningful life, or do you drift along in default mode hoping something will magically change?
Do you even know what a successful life looks like and why you should pursue it?
What Is The Purpose of Life?
In the first chapter of the Bible God reveals His purpose for life. We learn that God created humans to reflect His image, and He gave them a way to do so: to be productive and take dominion.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26-28
Having dominion over the earth means we’ve been given a responsibility as stewards to manage our lives.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” -Genesis 2:15
The garden was Adam and Eve’s home. Working and keeping one’s home means doing what’s necessary to make it operate in an orderly fashion, to keep it in good repair and make it not just functional, but also comfortable and beautiful.
Your Life Should Glorify God
From the very beginning, God’s role for humans was to reflect the image of a caring God by taking responsibility to subdue, (bring order to, keep under control) to protect, maintain and enhance all that He puts into our hands.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” -Colossians 3:23-24
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” -Colossians 3:17
What does it mean to do something in the name of the Lord? It means to do something for His sake, as if He were the one doing it. The bible teaches us how God does things.
God Is Orderly
God created structures and systems and set boundaries to govern the universe.
“You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” -Psalm 74:17
“[Wisdom] was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above, and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary, so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.” -Proverbs 8:27-29
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?”-Job 38:4-12
If God were not a God of order, the sun would not rise or set each day at a predetermined time. If summer did not always precede autumn, how would the farmer know when to plant or harvest?
If the sun was any closer or further from the earth, it would either be too hot or too cold to sustain life. It stays in its ordained place to fulfill its design of promoting life on earth.
In ancient history, man was able to navigate the seas because the constellations are visible and predictable. In more recent history, man was able to travel through outer space because the universe operates under laws of mass, time, motion, gravity, etc.
If God did not determine limits for the seas, weather, planetary movement, etc., life would be chaotic at best, extinct at worst.
What Is Successful Life Management?
If you want to be a success with God, you need to fashion your life after His. You need to build a framework for your life that allows you to reflect His image and glorify Him by subduing and taking dominion.
A framework where you lay foundations, establish boundaries, set things in place, fix limits, give orders, etc.
The “free-spirit” type person needs to learn that you are most free when you fulfill the plan God has for your life.
It is a plan that is unique for you alone and it refers to your whole life, not just how you spend your time.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
Are You Angry?
You’re overwhelmed with all the chaos and it’s such a big problem you don’t even know where to begin. It feels like it would take years to even make a dent!
You’re angry at yourself that you ever let it get this bad. Your home, your health, your finances. The list goes on and it makes you hot just thinking about them.
Stop being angry and making excuses. Staying angry saps energy that could be used to take charge of life. If you lack organization and management skills, you can learn how to put things in order. If you lack self-discipline, management skills will be useless. Skills are only effective when they are being used.
Are you afraid it will always be this way?
Fear is a powerful emotion, and people are often motivated by fear. Unfortunately, most people fear the wrong things.
Fearing your friends think you’re lazy is wrong. Having an orderly home to provide hospitality is right.
Fearing what others think of you because of your weight is wrong. Caring for your body so you can be useful to God is right.
Fearing losing money on a higher interest rate on your credit card is wrong. Paying your bills on time to glorify God is right.
Fear is a powerful motivator but it’s not everything!
People who are driven by emotions are also stalled by emotions. Using emotions as motivation is not the key to getting things done. In fact, fear can take take us by the throat and paralyze us.
Do you understand the power you have?
You know you have a duty to live a life that honors God but you fear you can’t do it right. You’re afraid it will be like the others times you’ve tried and failed.
- You don’t know where to start
- You don’t know what do next or how to do it
- You don’t think you have enough time
- You don’t think you have enough knowledge
- You don’t think you will stick with it
- You don’t think you will ever get done
This is why you remind yourself about the gospel. God saved you while you were still ungodly, a sinful mess. He didn’t wait until you got your act together.
He is at work in you now and gives you His power to do all that He wants you to do.
As you focus on God’s love for you, rather than your works for Him, His power is unleashed in you!
Productivity hacks and emotions don’t solve problems. God doesn’t send angels to earth to fix your problems.
God’s power working in you to be disciplined and take action solves problems.
- Action gets things done whether you feel motivated or not.
- Action doesn’t fear failure, it just gets busy.
- Action takes the next step whether it knows all the steps or not.
- Action keeps taking one step after another.
What action do you need to take next?
How To Get Moving Even If You’re Afraid You’ll Fail
Don’t give up hope! Change is possible.
You can take action now to start moving toward a life of order and success. You can succeed at the things God has called you to. He doesn’t ask for perfection but He does expect you to act!
You can block out 25 minutes today to focus on just 1 thing that would subdue something in your life.
In 25 minutes you could:
- Sort through a stack of bills
- Go for a walk
- Vacuum two rooms
- Fold and put away a load of clean laundry
- Clean out a drawer
- Plan a week’s worth of dinners
Discipline yourself to do something for just 25 minutes every day that would bring order to your home, your health, finances, etc.
If you get off track one day, give yourself grace, and get back on track the next day. God doesn’t ask for perfection. He does expect you to take action!
And when you take action, you:
- Subdue and manage your life
- Glorify God
- Gain momentum
Want more help subduing every area of life? Contact me for more ideas.