For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.
    ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Choosing to Cheat

Hubby went to a youth pastors' conference and came home with a book called CHOOSING TO CHEAT. 

Of all the books that could have been given to the youth pastors, this was the one they all received. Fitting book. What pastor and minister--male and female--doesn't need to read subtitled Who Wins When Work and Family Collide? 

Hubby was once interviewing at a church and was asked how he balances work and family. He said he is at home a minimum of four out of the seven nights. The youth-pastor-search-committee and the senior staff were shocked. That meant he only worked Sunday night, Wednesday, and an occasional Friday (or Saturday) when he went to youth school events.

The pastor explained how hubby needed to learn to combine work and family time so he could accomplish more of the ministry to which God had called him. For example, the pastor explained, when he would go on hospital visits, he would take his daughters with him that way he could "spend time" with his daughters AND visit someone in need. 
  • How do you think that pastor's daughters felt about those visits? 
  • Did they view them as 'quality time' with Dad?
  • Dad giving us token time so that he feels like he is doing his best to be a doting father? (appeasing his conscience)
I don't want my kids to feel like they are second to my job."

In CHOOSING TO CHEAT, Andy Stanley writes:

For almost everyone, the word cheating has negative connotations, especially if you've ever been cheated. Students cheat in school. Adults cheat on their income taxes. Husbands cheat on their wives. Most of us have cheated in a card came or two.... When we cheat, we choose to give up one thing in hopes of gaining something else of greater value. Typically, this involves giving up an intangible virtue for a tangible reward. Students give up their integrity for the sake of a grade.... 

So when I talk about "choosing to cheat," I am referring to the decision to give up one thing in order to gain something else. This is something we do every day. We don't thin of it as cheating. Especially when we are making what most people would consider a good trade. Saying no to dessert for the sake of one's waistline would hardly be considered cheating. But isn't it true that when you say no to dessert, you have cheated your appetite? Both your appetite and your self-control cry out for your attention. To say yes to one is to say no to the other. Either your appetite or your self-control is going to be cheated out of what it demands. You can't have it both ways.

In light of this broader application of the term cheating, you are a cheater. Daily you make decisions to give up one thing in order to gain something else. This is especially true within the arena of your schedule. You face a variety of responsibilities and opportunities: work... family... hobbies... clubs... leagues... the list is endless. Each competes for your attention. Each competes for your most valuable resource, your time.

But to give each of these the time it demands or deserves would require more time than you have. So you cheat. You give up certain opportunities for the sake of others. You invest in some relationships, while neglecting others. You allocate your time the best that you can, knowing all the while that somebody is going to feel cheated.

Before I had finished reading the book's introduction, I understood why Thomas Nelson Publishers donated enough copies for every youth pastor and worker at the conference to get one.

I'm a cheater.
You're a cheater.
We know cheaters.
Cheat wisely.

Looking for a great Father's Day, Boss's Day, Clergy Appreciation Day gift?

by Andy Stanley
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN 0785265244

re-released by Multnomah as WHEN WORK AND FAMILY COLLIDE

AMAZON ($39.29-$1.76)

BARNES&NOBLE ($39.99-$1.99)

CBD ($9.99)

PODCAST / North Point Ministries / Andy Stanley - Choosing to Cheat 

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