Don’t get distracted by the urgent, plus . . .

July 13th, 2015 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized

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Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People notes that our lives can be categorized into four quadrants: Important/Urgent (tornado warning), Unimportant/Urgent (telemarketing calls), Unimportant/Not Urgent (watching reality TV) and Important/Not Urgent (spending time with God and family).

Unfortunately, the Unimportant/Urgent often dominates our lives responding to a squeaking wheel while the engine oil is low and the engine is overheating.

The Bible book of Acts notes the importance of giving our attention to Important/Not Urgent issues.

      [A]s the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

      So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”

      Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.

      Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people (6:2-8).

Distributing food to poor widows, certainly qualifies as an Important/Urgent crisis. However, the Important/Not Urgent issues were being neglected.

Some thoughts:

1. We should stick to our unique gifts and not get distracted by urgent needs that can’t be met by our gifts and abilities.

2. All positions in the church need men and women “full of faith and the Holy Spirit” [and] full of God’s grace and power.” (Stephen was no less called and equipped than the apostles!)

3. If everyone is fulfilling his/ her unique roles, all important needs will be addressed.

Copyright © 2015 James N. Watkins

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