Completing To-Do List Is Not Your Life's Purpose

"A time to embrace and a time to refrain." (Ecclesiastes 3:5b NIV)

God never intended for us to make completing a to-do list the purpose of our lives. Yet, many of us keep trying to cram more and more into each day.

The fact is, there are many things we think we must do that really are not worth doing. My point is this: You won’t simplify your life by getting an electronic organizer. You won’t even do it by convincing your neighbor, who makes Martha Stewart look like a sloth, to give you tips about coordinating your activities.

Simplifying is really about choices — prioritizing what is important — and then sticking to those choices no matter how tempting it is to add more to your to-do list. In fact, take those tempting activities and put them on a list of things not to do.

You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you.

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “But I have to take care of the kids,” or “I have to get this report done by Friday.” I’m not naïve about the pressures many people feel today, but it may be that those things — your children, your work — are the priorities you keep on your to-do list, and you move other things to the not-to-do list.

Talk About It

You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you.

- Re-evaluate your to-do list for today. What's really important? What can be moved to the not-to-do-list?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.



Special Offer


The Keys to a Blessed Life Study Kit

What is the secret to accessing the abundant life God promises? In perhaps the greatest sermon of his ministry, Jesus gives us the keys to the Kingdom; a life of wholeness, happiness, and healing. In this 6-session video study, Pastor Rick Warren examines the Beatitudes and explores the practical steps to lead you to peace and fulfillment in your life, your work, and your relationships.


On the Radio


The Keys to a Blessed Life, Complete Audio Series

Join Pastor Rick for this series as he walks through Jesus’ most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, where he shared the Beatitudes — the conditions for receiving God’s blessing on your life. They still apply to your life today!

Purchase this seriesListen to this series