Confessions of a To-Do List Addict

I’m embarrassed to tell you how I responded when someone recently asked me what I like to do for fun…

“Well,” I stammered, “I like to cross things off my To-Do List.”

I could tell she wasn’t impressed.

“Yeah, right,” she said, thinking maybe I was just joking. “But what do you do for FUN?!”

I offered a few lame remarks about watching football games and eating out with friends, but the conversation pretty much went downhill after that.

Hey, I was just being honest. The truth of the matter is, I really do take pleasure in productivity—“getting things done.” What’s wrong with that?

I would love to hear your comments and observations about this addiction, for I’m still trying to break free from its destructive clutches.

Have you ever found yourself addicted to crossing off things on your To-Do List? Or maybe you’re living with someone else who struggles with this insidious problem.

Here are some preliminary conclusions I’ve come up with:

  1. It’s great to get things done if they are the RIGHT things. However, PEOPLE are God’s greatest priority, and many of the things on our To-Do List have nothing whatsoever to do with impacting people in a meaningful way. Our priorities need to be brought in alignment with His priorities (Mark 12:28-34).
  2. Addiction to our To-Do List is often a symptom of performance-based spirituality. In other words, we think God or people will somehow LOVE us more if we stay busy and accomplish a lot. Yet the Bible’s doctrine of GRACE teaches just the opposite: God loves us just because He loves us, not because of anything we do or don’t do.
  3. Although there are things God wants us to DO, He first wants us to BE. He created us primarily as human BE-ings, not human DO-ings. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasized our IDENTITY before our WORKS. Before engaging in efforts to “please God,” we’re told to recognize who we ARE: salt, light, and His beloved children (Matthew 5:13-16).
  4. Deep rest is impossible as long as we remain addicted to our To-Do List. Have you noticed that your To-Do List is never really completed? No matter how many items you cross off, there are always more to add. Recognizing our tendency to get stuck on this endless treadmill of striving and workaholism, God COMMANDS us to enter His rest (Exodus 20:8-11, Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 4:1-10, etc.).
  5. Addiction to our To-Do List is devastating to our social life. Here’s a very practical example: If you’re a single person who struggles with this, your dating life is going to suck until you get delivered.

Now I feel better after sharing my heart with you. I can cross “Writing a Blog Post” off today’s To-Do List…

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One thought on “Confessions of a To-Do List Addict

  1. I’ve found that a to do list/goal list is essential to get things done that need done, walk in our calling, and is Biblical. “Write the vision and make it plain so you may run (in it) who reads it” (Hab. 2:2-4) Even Donald Trump says “the difference between someone who writes their goals and one who doesn’t is that the one who writes them will achieve them; the one who does not will not.”

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