Give Attention to What Really Matters

Sometimes success can actually make one unsuccessful. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Once you’ve tasted success you can’t un-taste it. And when you taste something good it’s like a drug you need more of it. There is a reason why you can’t ever just have one Oreo cookie (maybe also due to the fact that they are laced with cocaine).

They’re just really addicting.

And once you’ve tasted…

You can’t un-taste.

When people experience success in either their job or ministry it can be hard to not want to go to the next level and to want just one more. The problem with just one more is because you’re emotionally negotiating, you never really see how it’s affecting you until it’s too late. Like when you’re hugging a toilet bowl because you went through four entire rows of the family size package of milk’s favorite cookie…

by yourself.

So before your body finds itself rejecting way too much of a good thing consider giving attention to what really matters. The following are in order things that really matter. My hope and prayer for you is that the list below isn’t just something you agree with but something that your priorities actually reflect.


  1. Your Relationship to God- This is what really matters most. Not your relationship to working for God, but your personal, intimate relationship with the Almighty. Nothing matters more. Only he and you know what’s going on in your heart, are you really walking with him?
  1. Your Relationship to your spouse. If you are married nothing is really more important than working hard at maintaining that relationship. Your spouse should be the number one love of your life after God. You should seek not only to please God, but also to please the one person you love most.


It’s easy to become busy with religious activity and doing things for others while the person who most deserves our attention sits on the sidelines.

God would never call you to a work that would lesson the love, focus, and attention you should give to your spouse.


  1. Your Relationship to your children (if you have them). Don’t be so committed to a place of service to others that your family ultimately suffers in the end. Before long, your children will be gone, and you will wonder, Why did I spend all that time on the things that really don’t make that much difference?


Use your time wisely now to be a loving influence on your kids. Don’t lust for positions of power that pull you away from those who need you the most.


  1. Keep fit physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Maintain good lifestyle habits and keep a clear conscious. This is the only way to live. Take care of your body, your spirit, and your soul.


  1. Your Relationship to your place of employment. This is the last place of emphasis, and for good reason. Why? Because it often becomes the number one guiding force of our lies. Of course, you have to earn a living and give a full day’s work to your employer, but it is not the most important area of your life. When money and your job becomes the central focus, you can become trapped by the success syndrome.


In the Adam Sandler movie, Anger Management there is a scene in which Jack Nicholson (a well-known anger therapist) asks Sandler (a new member to a support group) to, “Tell the group a little bit about who you are.” After describing what he does for a living Nicholson interrupts and says, “No don’t tell us what you do, just tell us who you are.”

If you were to give someone a sheet of paper and ask them to complete this sentence, I am… most people will put down businessman, engineer, professional, etc. But in fact they would be persons; fathers, mothers, husbands, wives…

Usually people think of what they do as who they are. But that’s not who God thinks you are. If you keep your true identity in proper perspective, you’ll focus on the things that really matter and it will be a whole lot easier to put the Oreo’s away before you spoil your dinner or worse.

Give attention to what really matters.

Because everything else




Jeff Sandstrom is a thank you letter to God. When he’s not performing N’SYNC dance moves he’s connecting people to their creator as a church planter in the greater Chicago, IL area. Boom, done!

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