I’ve discovered a secret to balance.
A way to repel haters, whiners and life-suckers.
A way to exit a conversation without feeling the need to rehash, second-guess or defend every word I speak.
A way to honor my husband.
A way to engage my children.
A way to encourage my friends.
A way to enjoy social media.
A way to save money.
A way to reduce clutter.
A way to clear the calendar.
A way to keep off unwanted pounds.
A way to eliminate almost all the drama from my life.
It’s this: Does It Add Value?
Four words in the form of a question.
Does It Add Value?
Before I publish a Facebook status, I ask myself…Does It Add Value? Does it really bless my Facebook friends when I complain about the weather or the President or Justin Beiber? I doubt it. Maybe something encouraging, positive or funny would add value to their lives instead.
Before I offer my opinion about you, your blog post or YOUR Facebook status, I ask…Does It Add Value? I have an opinion about everything. Do I really need to voice it every time? Just because you invite me to argue does that mean I need to take you up on that offer? No. The answer is no. Maybe adding value means saying nothing.
My fear is that no one in the history of mankind has ever said, “I saw two Christians on twitter attacking each other and that made me want a lifelong relationship with their Christ.” And that should matter to us. Jon Acuff
Before I allow someone to leave a comment on my blog…Does It Add Value? When other blog guests read this comment, will they be better informed or see another side to the issue? Or am I just making room for a Life-Sucker to leave us feeling negative, insulted, defensive or less-than?
Before I respond to my husband…Does It Add Value? Does what I’m about to say make Jon feel honored, respected and loved? Will it make our marriage stronger, more divorce-proof? Just because he’s my husband doesn’t mean I need to dump all my mental trash on his lap every day.
Before I address my children…Does It Add Value? Will this teach my children how to love God or love people better? Will it someday aid them in the fulfillment of their life-purpose? Will it make them feel cherished and safe? Maybe I can word this correction differently. Maybe I don’t need to say anything and simply listen.
Before I talk about another person…Does It Add Value? Is what I’m about to say good? Is it positive? Will it benefit the hearer in some way? I mean, unless I know someone is in danger, what negative information do I need to be spreading about others anyway? None, that’s what.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Before I say yes to a commitment…Does it Add Value? Will this help people? Will this help me? Does this honor God? Is this something I or my children enjoy? Is this fulfilling a need? Will it draw me or my family closer to each other or to others?
Before I mindlessly toss that item into my shopping cart…Does It Add Value? Will this item be useful? Will it be beautiful? Will it save me time? Or will I need to use precious space to store it, and precious time to learn to use it, routinely clean it and regularly maintain it?
Before I mindlessly toss that piece of food into my mouth…Does It Add Value? Is this food good for my body? Does it bring me closer to my health goals? Do I feel good after I eat food like this?
(Sometimes food isn’t good for the body, but it’s good for the soul…so, my answer to fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies may be a resounding YES, even if it doesn’t bring me closer to my health goals.)
(Hypothetically speaking, of course.)
Since the beginning of the year, “Does It Add Value?” is the question I ask myself one hundred times a day. It’s causing me to be mindful of every word, keystroke, dollar, and minute I spend.
And it’s changing my life in a very big way.