Just Say No
Scripture: So Moses father-in-law said to him, The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. (Exodus 18:17, 18 NKJV)
Observation: Moses’ father-in-law said unto him, The thing … is not good—not good either for Moses himself, for the maintenance of justice, or for the satisfaction and interests of the people. Jethro gave a prudent counsel as to the division of labor [Ex 18:21, 22], and universal experience in the Church and State has attested the soundness and advantages of the principle. [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Ex 18:17). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]
Application: Moses' father-in-law was a wise man who has wise counsel for his son-in-law. Moses was going to work every day as the sole judge over all the tribes of Israel. The number of people demanding his time was so great he worked from dawn until dusk without making a dent in the workload. His wise father-in-law, Jethro, saw this and immediately recognized a man who could not say "no" to requests for his time. He suggested Moses focus on only two things — representing the people before God, and handling the most difficult of the disputes. The rest of the work could be delegated to capable men he appointed. Moses listened, delegated, and found himself doing far more than he had ever done before, but in much less time. If this advice worked for Moses, will it not also work for us? In order to fulfill your God-given responsibility we must set appropriate boundaries. As the parent, you have the responsibility to set limits for yourself so that you have time to do the job of being the primary disciple maker for your child that God has called you to.
Spend sime time reviewing your "to do" list. Are you too busy to have quality time with your children? What actions do you need to take to ensure that your career or other "stuff" does not push your children to the end of your priority list? Moses had resources all around him that he was not utilizing. He was trying to be everything to every one. Are there resources that you can take better dvantage of? Are there ways that you can work smarter instead of harder?. It's time to take inventory and consider the same counsel that was given to Moses long ago. Afterall, that wise counsel is timeless.
A Prayer You May Say: Lord, what are my priorities today? Show me what to delegate, what can wait, and what it is You would have me accomplish on this day.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.