Stephen Covey’s wisdom touched a lot of lives. My series continues today answering the question, “Was the wisdom found in Covey’s 7 Habits biblical?” You can start with Habit 1 here.
Habit 3: First Things First
The foundation for this habit lies in the simple acknowledgement that some pursuits are more important — or have more value to me — than others. Covey taught that we should be proactive, making a plan to put first things first (the first three habits working together). He illustrated the value of putting first things first with his now classic “Big Rocks” illustration:
Does this idea of putting first things first have Biblical support?
- “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)
- “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7)
- “And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” (2 Cor. 8:5 NIV)
- “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:5)
The list of supporting Scripture could go on for — well, several volumes in fact. The very nature of God demands that He Himself has more value than all else. Thus being pleasing to Him intrinsically has the highest value possible in His universe.
How does this Habit impact how we live?
We begin by determining exactly what we believe has the most value to us (Habit 1: Be proactive). We then devise a plan to get there (Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind). Covey recommends making both a personal and a family mission statement — both of which I and my family have done some years ago. Based on that mission, we then choose how we will spend our most critical resources by putting the most important things first (Habit 3: First things first).
Make your problems line up for you. ~ John C. Maxwell
In my life, those priorities look like this:
- My God and my relationship with him
- My wonderful wife and my relationship with her
- My awesome children and my relationship with them
- My calling to write, speak, lead, and teach while connecting real life with real faith.
If it falls outside of those key priorities, it’s not likely to get much of my time. Sorry, I won’t be watching the summer Olympic games much.
I plan the year, each quarter, and every 40-days (borrowed that idea from John Maxwell) based on my mission statement. Each week, usually Sunday evening at 6 PM, I take an hour to reconnect with my priorities, pray, and then schedule the first things into my life remembering that if it doesn’t get scheduled if probably won’t get done.
I then review the plan with my wife — most weeks when I’m paying attention. Our family meetings each Thursday night complete the communication cycle to Build a Family We Can Be Proud Of provided we prepared well to make them productive times.
What helps have you put in place in your personal or family life to keep first things first? Thanks for sharing your ideas with a comment to share the growth.