Troublesome Topic: Put the Big Stuff In First

Put the Big Stuff in First So Rest Can Bring Simplicity

When you pack a U-Haul truck for a big move you don’t start by putting in small things like a teddy bear or a pair of tennis shoes; you start with the largest items, then you find places for the medium sized things, and finally the smaller items. If you don’t pack the truck correctly you will still have big things left to pack and no adequate place to put them. We all know how to put the big stuff in first when it comes to physical objects but we find it much more difficult when it comes to our use of time.

We say prayer and Bible reading are “big things” to us, but then we leave them piled in the driveway while the truck is full of garage sale specials! We don’t give them the priority we claim to place on them. We may do our devotions first thing in the morning, but if we take three minutes for Bible reading and two minutes for prayer we can hardly say that we are making it something “big” in our life, even if it went in first chronologically.


What does it mean to “decide?” To help us understand it better consider the following words:

Insecticide      Pesticide         Herbicide

Genocide         Homicide        Infanticide      Suicide

No, it is not about death. Instead it is about eliminating. Thus “decide” means “to eliminate or cut off.” Simplicity requires that we decide, that we cut some things away, that we use discretion and eliminate what is not of utmost importance.

Spiritual growth is more about relinquishing than about acquiring! As we relinquish (let go), God fills our hands once again. As we empty ourselves of ourselves God fills us up again; He adds what He wants to add—the big stuff.

We often ask God to give us more: More wisdom, more peace, more strength, etc. But we have it backwards, for He asks us to reject what is harmful to us. If we would give up what is harmful to us we would receive the wisdom, peace, and strength we seek. In contrast, if God gave us the wisdom and peace and strength we ask for when we ask for it, His greatest desire, a desire for more closeness, would not be realized because those negative influences would still be holding us back. God does not squander His gifts; therefore, He does not answer our prayers for more of His good things until we have learned to live with less of our things.

Pledge every day to put the big stuff in first and as you do so some things in your life will begin to fall away because they are not important. At other times you will have to consciously prune things away that eat at your time or energy and pull you away from enjoying time with God.

What is the Big Stuff?

In my opinion the Big Stuff for every Christian should be these three things:

~ Hunger-driven Bible reading

~ Constant, personal worship

~ God-glorifying prayer

The next lesson is Hunger-driven Bible Reading