The value of being organised

The value of being organised

Some people love to make lists and plan out their diaries. They know what they need to do and when they need to do it by. I am one of those people. I always have a lot of diverse things to do and responsibilities to manage; if I don’t make some kind of plan, things get missed.

On the other hand, there are those who despise lists, who like to wake up and wonder what God has in store for them today. They can view list-makers like myself as overly structured and inflexible, not open to the possibilities that the day might bring them.

I have come to realise that organisation is not only a personality trait, though some people do find it more natural than others. Being organised has many advantages. If you plan and think about how you are to get things done, you will better reflect God and better love God’s people.

Let me explain.

In 1 Kings 4, we get a picture of King Solomon’s kingdom at its peak. Here is what wisdom applied to running a kingdom looks like. Solomon wisely delegates responsibility in key areas to people he trusts. He organises food provision on a fair roster, avoiding tribal conflicts. And his wise governance and structures led to happiness and peace in the kingdom. We see a picture of order and organisation, with the result that the people of God are fairly looked after.

Here are four good reasons why being organised is important to your faith and in your service of others:

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1 Kings 4 is by no means the only place in the Bible that order is valued. God is a God of order. God created the world in an orderly way, each according to its kind. He set up the world under the stewardship of human beings. He set up relationships to run in an orderly way, whether in terms of citizens and governments, husbands and wives, or slaves and masters. God disapproves of messiness and unintelligibility in church services but wants it all done in order for the building up of all. God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As you live a life marked by order and not chaos, you are reflecting what your Father is like.

2. Being organised reflects your Father in Heaven who is faithful

God is not only ordered; he is faithful. That means that when God makes a promise, he keeps it. This is again evident in 1 Kings 4, where promises made to Abraham, the people of Israel, and David all intersect in a golden kingdom. We know that whatever we read in the Bible, it is true, and whatever God says he will do, he does. We need to be like this too. Promises made need to be promises kept. This is impossible to do without a plan of some kind. Something will be missed if we don’t make some plan to keep our word to other people. Otherwise, we will promise easily and yet never follow through.

3. Being organised means you are not driven only by the current crisis

All of us have whatever is happening to us right now at the front of our minds. If we are sick or in pain, we go to the doctor or take some pain medication. If that assignment is due tomorrow, everything else can wait. Without a plan, we will be driven by whatever our ‘felt needs’ are at the time. This will mean that we get the urgent things done but we miss the things that are more important but not urgent. That could be things like Bible reading and prayer; they can drop off in favour of more urgent needs. Over time, that means that our lives and schedules are driven by others instead of us being thoughtful abut what our lives should contain.

4. Being organised means you don’t show injustice by accident

None of us mean to let anyone down. We don’t mean to forget things and overlook things. But if we are disorganised and unplanned, we will let people down and overlook things. We will disappoint our children whom we promised to play with. We will upset our spouses or our parents by missing birthdays or having to work late because we forgot something important. We will rush things that deserve more time given to them. The end result of disorganisation is injustice; important things and key people will get left out.

Don’t hear this incorrectly. Being organised doesn’t mean being bound to some to-do list and being unable to stop and smell the roses. It doesn’t mean that opportunities cannot be taken up even if they are unplanned. But if you don’t have a plan for your week or your life, you will end up being unhelpful to those around you as well as missing things that should not be missed.

The last thing Christians should have is a reputation for flakiness and unreliability. We are representatives of a God who loves order and keeping promises. We need to be like that too. If you find yourself constantly apologising to people for forgetting appointments or being late, you need to repent of this. It matters that we are thoughtful about what we do and how we do it so that we can serve God more effectively.