Responsibility and Priority

CroyleUnderstanding the difference.

by John Croyle


You and I have little control over the things going on in our nation. We have even less say in the world issues that our nation faces. Elected leaders are making decisions that we may or may not agree with. We all have our opinions that we believe to be right based on what we know or think we know.  

Now let me ask you a question: What do you have control over?

We can go down the list ad nauseam on our various issues that are out of our control like taxes, death, and Obamacare, and how they impact our way of life. Recently our business office at the Ranch informed our staff about how we are going to be negatively affected in the future. But what do we really have an influence over?

We have control over how we treat our mates, our children, and others. We have control over how we are going to respond to that inner voice the Lord uses to help us get through each day. We are responsible for how we feel about the person we see in the mirror each and every day.

When we choose to seek instant gratification instead of weighing the issues to determine what is really right, it’Croyles totally in our hands. Our families are counting on us to choose wisely when faced with the decisions that come up each and every day. Many times, I have chosen poorly and suffered the consequences. Perhaps you have a track record that could be better, too. We all can do better, can’t we? Now let’s look at the issues you and I face as parents. If I ask you to tell me what is the difference between priority and responsibility, what would you say?

Simply put, responsibility is what is required and priority is when it’s required. With this mindset, make a responsibility list for your life. What are the things you must take care of? I am assuming your marriage, children, and job were the first to make this responsibility list. With these in mind, ask yourself this: Are they a priority?

When our children are with us, they are a responsibility we want to be on top of for sure. But are they a priority? The best way I know of to find out if our children know and feel that they are a priority in our lives is simply ask them. You will probably get an honest answer. Kids know when they are a priority in their parents’ lives and they also know when they are not. If you get an answer that is positive, keep on keeping on. But if you get, “No, sometimes the way you treat me makes me feel that I’m an inconvenience that you got saddled with,” then you have a clear breakdown in your relationship that needs to be addressed.

Now what can you do about this breakdown? Talk with your husband or wife and honestly examine the two lists. Stop and draw a line in the sand of your life and make the necessary changes that only you can make. Somebody has got to make a stand because when your children are grown and leave you, your priority window of opportunity is closed forever. They will pass on to your grandchildren the best and the worst of your child rearing skills. If you have read this short piece and know there are some changes that must be made in your life, then make up your mind about what you need, want, and truly desire to change. It’s not easy, but the rewards are literally life changing.

Leave a Reply