This podcast covers Lesson 2 of Healthy Living Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
Resist the “Tyranny of the Urgent” Infection
In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul asks God to fill the Colossian Christians with knowledge and understanding about His will so that they would live a life worthy of the Lord Jesus. The prayer is that they would know the Lord so well that they will gain wisdom for their daily lives. From this wisdom, they would apply what they know to various situations they face through clear analysis and decision-making. The result is living a life that pleases the Lord Jesus in every way.
The Tyranny of the Urgent Infection
“We live in a constant tension between the urgent and the important. … Often urgent, though less important, tasks call for immediate response. … The appeal of these demands seems irresistible, and they devour our energy. But in the light of eternity, their momentary prominence fades. With a sense of loss, we recall the important tasks that have been [set] aside. We realize that we’ve become slaves to the tyranny of the urgent.” (Charles E. Hummel, Tyranny of the Urgent)
- Sometimes, the urgent is also the important. That’s not the “Tyranny of the Urgent” infection.
- In our extreme busyness answering those endless urgent demands, we often can’t see which ones are truly important any longer. Because we do it to ourselves, it’s really an intentional blindness.
“Intentional blindness is the trick our own brains play on us—keeping us preoccupied with one thing while leaving us unaware and oblivious to another.” (Priscilla Shirer)
What makes us susceptible to this infection?
- For many of us, it’s the desire to satisfy others’ expectations of us.
- When we don’t stop to evaluate how we’re spending our time, we can become blinded by the poisonous effects of overscheduling. And letting our mobile devices rule us.
- If we say “no” to those, we can say “yes” to the important things that have lasting influence, like taking time to be in God’s Word so we can get filled with the knowledge of His will for our lives.
- Ask the Lord to help you determine what is truly important in your life and to make pre-decisions—decisions you make in advance that will help you to resist the tyranny of the urgent infection in your life. The goal is that you would live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way. Colossians 1:9-10.
What might happen when you resist this “tyranny of the urgent” infection?
- Some things will be left unfinished.
- Some events you just won’t attend; some tasks you just won’t take on.
- Some people might get mad at you.
- Other events you will attend or tasks you will take on.
- Some new friendships will be made.
Jesus shows us how to do this.
- Because of the freedom that Christ gives you through His Spirit and His Word, you don’t have to become a slave to the tyranny of the urgent infection.
- Jesus modeled for us how to do this.
“I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:42-43)
“I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
- If Jesus could say no to needy people and good works because He had another purpose, so can you. Jesus did what He was supposed to do not what everyone wanted Him to do. This completed the work God had for Him. The final work came the next day when He gave Himself as the sacrifice for our sins.
The “Tyranny of the Urgent” infection is hollow and deceptive. It leads you away from living a life that pleases the Lord in every way. Knowing the truth of God that you have in Jesus Christ gives you an immune system that fights and prevents spiritual infection.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart needs with His truth and His love so you can get well and stay well.
Joyful Walk Bible Studies by Melanie Newton are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.