In 1989 I bought a copy of Richard Nelson Bolles best selling book, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” I know it was 1989 because each year a new edition is published.

I mention the book because of a wonderful decision-making grid that Bolles included in this edition. The grid is designed to help boil down all the choices one might have with locales or perquisites or job roles. The grid fits other matters too.

  • Which house of the 10 houses I’ve seen do I like the best?
  • What countries would I most like to take a vacation in?
  • What car is my favorite of those I test-drove?
  • What university has the course work I most prefer?

“Parachute” is a good model for thinking about discipleship to Jesus. In Jesus’ teaching he often uses comparison to force people to think about whether they are really onboard with him or not. Here are some examples of what he said.

  • Luke 9:23. Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
  • Luke 9:58. And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
  • Luke 14:28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?
  • Matthew 6:33. Strive first for the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

This all leads me to wonder how my life stacks up in terms of personal priorities. Would I choose a career over Jesus? Or would I say that my job has to accord with my commitment to Jesus?

The same kind of question might be applied to who I marry, what avocations I choose, how I use my time, and the list goes on. If you put the top nine things in your life in the grid, along with Jesus, how would Jesus fare?

2 thoughts on “Priorities”

  1. I like the grid! I don’t think I’ve seen it before.

    Another way to assess would be to ask Holy Spirit, “How should I feel about this item?” Then for each item, note your feelings about it: Excitement? Anxiety? Peace? Conflicted?

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