The Best Yes

Janet Aucoin July 14, 2023

There are a million and one things vying for our attention in today’s busy, constantly-on-the-go world. It can feel exhausting knowing what opportunities to accept and which ones to turn down — especially if it’s a choice between very good things!

Janet and Jocelyn explore what biblical wisdom has to say about our decision-making and how to ensure we are giving our “best yes.”

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Episode Transcript



From Pride to Humility - Stuart Scott

Gospel Treason - Brad Bigney

Decisions, Decisions - Dave Swavely

Crazy Busy - Kevin DeYoung

Bullseye Diagram of Priorities

Questions to Answer When Setting Priorities

Psalm 90 verses for 3rd Quarter


The Danger of Living Without a Purpose - Joyful Journey

Purpose: The Creation Mandate - Joyful Journey


The Heart of Change - Brent Aucoin

A Woman’s Priorities Series - Bev Moore


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Welcome back. This is Janet here once again with my trustee co-host, Jocelyn.

Jocelyn: Hi, friends.

Janet: I do want to just mention to you that at the end we have our scripture memory passage for the fourth quarter. I hope many of you are still doing that with us. That's been fun and we'll discuss it at the end. So listen for it. But today we're gonna talk about how we can determine what I'm calling our best yes. How do we make priority decisions at a practical level? We all have plenty of options for how we're gonna spend our time and energies, and our money, of course.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: And what a privilege and honor that God allows us to partner in the things that matter. But we can't do it all.

Jocelyn: That's true.

Janet: So Jocelyn, what do you see as some indicators that we don't know how to do this very well?

Jocelyn: Well, for some of us, we forget that we have limitations. God gave them to us and we're always sure we can do one more thing.

Janet: Ouch.

Jocelyn: I know. Talking to the choir right now. For some of us, we're paralyzed by all the options and so we don't say yes to anything.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Two ditches of one extreme.

Janet: And I wish I could say, I'm only one. I can tell you times I've been both.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So what do we do? Well, theoretically we major on the majors. We're supposed to do what's important and not just what's urgent. Great. So what does that even mean on a daily basis?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What are those most important things and how do I know what my priorities should be and how to live them out?

Jocelyn: Good question.

Janet: Our goal’s to develop God-honoring priorities? And since we're believers, we don't get to make up our own priorities. We need to take our thinking and bring it in line with scripture. Remember 2 Corinthians 10:5 that tells us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. So we're gonna look at a couple of different areas. God's goal or purpose for us. Couple different ways to say that. And then based on those, what are His priorities? We really need to know His goal or purpose before we can start living that out and His priorities. And then we're gonna talk about some practical ways to do that. So first, what is God's goal or purpose for our lives? When we understand this, it makes living according to those priorities a lot easier. And we go back to that a lot. And we do that on purpose. And we've actually done two episodes on this concept. The Dangers of Living Without a Purpose, which aired in January of '22, and The Creation Mandate, which was right near the beginning in January of '21. I would encourage you to go back to those to learn more about it. But Jocelyn, I know you love this concept.

Jocelyn: I do.

Janet: Can you give us just a short recap of what is God's goal for us?

Jocelyn: Well, ultimately, God's goal for us is that we would live to honor Him, that we would live to please Him, that we would live to glorify Him, and that we would seek after His kingdom and His righteousness. Just like Matthew 6:33 says.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And that we would live in a way where we do all of our work for His glory and ultimately, that will be what draws attention to His majesty.

Janet: Excellent. Excellent. So you'll hear a lot more about that if you go to those episodes. At least on a theoretical level, I'm pretty sure we're all in agreement. I don't think Jocelyn just said anything and you're thinking, I don't know if that's very important. I actually though think it will help us if we think that way because naturally I think we frequently make our goals something else. I don't wanna disappoint someone.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I need to show other people how important I am. I'm gonna do that cuz I really enjoy it. It doesn't really matter how it impacts my other priorities. So yeah, I'm actually talking about idolatry. What am I worshiping? What am I living for other than God? And what Jocelyn just said, bringing Him glory. I'm not gonna go into teaching on that subject right here, but I don't know how else to say to you it is imperative that you know what you tend to worship that isn't God.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Or you're gonna be trapped by it. And when it comes to making priority decisions, it will inform how you make a decision.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I promise you, if you can't easily communicate to somebody else or to yourself what you tend to worship, that's not God. I'm gonna encourage you to look at some resources that we're gonna have in the show notes. My husband's got some videos called, The Heart of Change. Free videos online. Stuart Scott's got a book called, From Pride to Humility.

Jocelyn: I love that book.

Janet: Yes, Brad Bigney has got a book called, Gospel Treason. You need to know that about your own heart because otherwise you will deceive yourself and you won't make any progress in your priorities. Because our goal, our purpose, has to be that we represent God and His values.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So, what would that look like? Jocelyn, can you read Romans 8:29 and tell us how you think that relates to our purpose?

Jocelyn: Sure. Romans 8:29 says, for those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son. Well, I mean, that's the point of the gospel. I was saved from my sin so that I could be returned to my purpose, which is imaging God accurately, and I do that by bearing the image of Jesus Christ so I can grow at pleasing God by being more like Christ, no matter what situation in life I'm in.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: That's super hopeful. It doesn't mean that it's always easy, but we know now that our goal is to please God and God alone. And we also know that His goal for us is to conform us to the image of Jesus, His son.

Janet: Yes. Who pleased Him perfectly.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And excellent.

Jocelyn: And who bears His image absolutely perfectly.

Janet: Excellent. So we know what His purpose is. And we know who it looks like.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So how do we start to achieve that? What are God's priorities for us? Well, first of all, the Bible doesn't ever say the word priority. But if we just look at a Webster's definition, what's a priority? It's something that comes first, or among the first in importance. So, okay, what in scripture should come first or be of utmost importance? Well, I would hope we would all say God.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So God, Himself, has got to be our first priority. You're gonna see in your show notes, I actually, when I teach this, I do it through a bullseye diagram and I've got that in your notes. If you wanna look at that and pull it up, that's fine, but in the middle of the bullseye would be God, Himself. We need to be developing our relationship with God and putting ourselves in a position where we can be growing to be more like Him. That's gonna make me looking more like Christ. That's the whole point of the goal of our life pursuing God. I love how the Puritans talk about it. They talk about being addicted to God.

Jocelyn: That's so, so helpful.

Janet: Yeah. I mean, think about that, Jocelyn. What will an addict do to get his next fix?

Jocelyn: Well, they would do anything. They would drive all night. They would go without sleeping or eating, like their entire life would be oriented around their thing that they needed. They think about it all day long. Make gigantic elaborate plans.

Janet: Yes, and think about that. That's the kind of passion and focus we need to have toward God. And I contrast that with how many of us say, I'm just too busy. I haven't had time for God.

Jocelyn: Yeah, it's like super eyeopening, isn't it? Like do I think of myself as a addicted to God or like tucking Him into my available corner.

Janet: When I have time.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Absolutely. And then think about some of these verses that just reinforce that point. Jocelyn, can you read Psalm 42:1.

Jocelyn: Absolutely. I love this verse. Psalm 42:1 says, as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

Janet: Wow. And if you're like me, I think that's just not always what my soul's is panting after.

Jocelyn: No, but it's so beautiful though to think of, like, think of it like that.

Janet: It is. And then when I realize that really is what my soul is panting after. I just don't realize it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And so I'm giving it inferior things. Good. How about Mark 12:30.

Jocelyn: Mark 12:30 says, love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Janet: And then Matthew 6:33.

Jocelyn: Matthew 6:33 says, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Janet: Hopefully we're recognizing our first priority has to be God.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And putting Him first doesn't mean when I'm done with God, I move on to the other things. God obviously permeates all of our priorities, and on your diagram, I would make an arrow out. Yes, we could have just skipped this one and said, it's all about God.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Everything is about God.

Janet: But I think it's helpful. That we do have to think my number one priority decision has got to be God and I should not take on any other responsibility if it hinders keeping God first in my life. So on a practical level, what would it look like to make God the first priority in my life? Well, if my life or my schedule is so full that I don't have time to be alone with Jesus, I'm too busy.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So God is gonna be involved in all of it, but He's also the first priority.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Second, if I'm married, I believe biblically, and I'm gonna give you some verses, but we don't have time to teach through all of this because we wanna get to the practical so be a berean and look at these verses. If we're married, our second priority is our husband. He is our first ministry and our first human relationship.

Jocelyn: That's so important to remember.

Janet: Yes. Titus 2:4-5 gives us that emphasis on the husband and then the family. That that's what older women are to command and teach.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For the younger women. They're to teach them and train them to love their husbands and children.

Jocelyn: That was helpful for me to learn that when I was a young wife. Like that's not, that's okay that it doesn't come naturally.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Someone should have to teach me how to love my husband and that's okay.

Janet: And that certainly shouldn't surprise you cuz we're told to teach it.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So clearly...

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: We should expect that we need to be taught that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's not that a younger woman is gonna be fulfilled with accomplishments focused on herself. And yet that's the natural thinking. How do I be a wife and mom and also feel fulfilled?

Jocelyn: Completely self-actualized first.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So that I can love my husband.

Janet: Yes. That is deceitful. It's not gonna satisfy. Ultimately, as a wife, it's our privilege to make our first priority helping our husbands give a good account. Even if your husband doesn't know Jesus yet, the first step in helping him give a good account is helping him come to know Jesus. So my first earthly priority is gonna be to act in a way that would promote the gospel in his life.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: 1 Peter 3 tells us that. So God, our husbands, if we're married, are family, which would be our immediate family. That would be our children, if we have them, and our parents.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: God gives us a special responsibility to our parents and our children.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Jocelyn, can you read Deuteronomy 6:6 & 7?

Jocelyn: These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts, impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Janet: Yeah. So we're commanded to be teaching our children at all times. Ephesians 6:4 tells fathers to bring up their children, and since our first ministry is to help our husband, that's part of what we're gonna be doing. And we have a special responsibility to our parents. Jocelyn, can you read first Timothy 5:4-8?

Jocelyn: But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God, but those who don't take care of their relatives, sorry, but those who won't care for their relatives, especially those in their own household have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.

Janet: Wow. So whether or not you're married, God still commands you to honor your father and mother. So if you have older parents who need help to be cared for, it means ensuring that they are cared for. It might mean ensuring they're in a place where they can be well cared for. It might mean bringing them to you when it's feasible, it's gonna look different. I'm not here to tell you what it situation looks like each.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Each situation will be different.

Janet: But that we do have an obligation there.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Our next obligation is to believers. Jocelyn, read Galatians 6:10.

Jocelyn: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Janet: Yes. So we are to do good to everyone, but we have a special responsibility to those who are of the household of faith. So, yes, I have a responsibility to unbelievers as well. But I believe the scripture is clear. It's especially the household of faith. So one way in particular that we do this is by serving in our local churches. Find a ministry that you have a passion for that uses your gifting and then serve wholeheartedly. That is part of our priority. And then, yes, last and certainly not least, we do have the priority of unbelievers. That doesn't mean it's not important. It absolutely is. But I do believe it helps us to have a biblical balance. And quite frankly, the platform for my evangelism to unbelievers is a life built on biblical priorities.

Jocelyn: Absolutely.

Janet: So my relationship with the lost is gonna have a stronger impact when they see me living a life on biblical priorities.

Jocelyn: That's consistent with scripture. Right.

Janet: It wouldn't please God for me to be out evangelizing my neighborhood while my children and husband are at home fending for themselves, my home is not managed well, and it's in chaos.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Like doesn't the Bible teach us about that. We should be living differently.

Janet: Right. And that is part of my evangelism. So if we look at our priorities, God, husband, family, believers, and unbelievers, is there anything you noticed about all of those priorities?

Jocelyn: Well, it's not at all about tasks, it's completely about relationship. Like there's no job listed there. There's no skills listed there. It's all about relationships with other people.

Janet: Isn't that fascinating?

Jocelyn: Yeah, it is.

Janet: Yeah. Now, obviously there are tasks, but all of the tasks are supposed to be with the purpose of relationship.

Jocelyn: Exactly.

Janet: Which I love. Life is about relationships, and then our priorities and roles are to revolve around that. But where do we actually spend most of our time and energy?

Jocelyn: Usually we're focused on what we have to get done.

Janet: Right, right. So we can fill up our lives with so much stuff that we neglect the one necessary thing. Elizabeth George wrote this, the choices we make are key to the priorities we practice. If you wanna know what you'll be like in the future, just look at the choices you're making today.

Jocelyn: That's helpful.

Janet: Yeah. So it brings us back to our top priorities has got to be God. What I have to be asking is what can I do today, this week, to live out my priorities that would show that God is first in my life and that all of my priorities flow from that. And that's gonna be intentional. We don't slide into that.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You don't accidentally choose the right priorities.

Janet: No. So with that in mind, I have a list of questions. I'm not gonna say all of them. They're gonna be in a document because I hope right now listeners are going, I see that. How will I know if I'm doing that?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What can I be doing to ask myself questions? So, I would encourage you to, on a personal level, take out a sheet of paper once a week, fold it in half, and on one side, write down your priorities. God, husband, children, believers, unbelievers, and on the other half, write down what are practical things you're gonna do.

Jocelyn: That's a great idea.

Janet: That will show that in your life. So, when you're setting your priorities, start with God and ask yourself these questions. I'm gonna just say one or two, but I want you to list through them that might help you. We'll have that attached as well. But listen to this quote from a Puritan prayer. My sin is not so much this or that particular evil. But my continual separation, disunion distance from The, and having a loose spirit towards The.

Jocelyn: That is powerful.

Janet: Yeah. So do I have a plan for developing in my love for God? And then I have a list of questions that can help you with that. Jocelyn, if we're trying to think about how to prioritize our husband, what are some things we could think about there?

Jocelyn: Well, I would ask questions like, do I have a plan for developing my love for him? Like, how do I grow my love? Am I putting my ministry to him above all of my other ministries? Which is a great question because that is easy to get out of whack. Have I asked him what's important to him and what he would like me to be doing more or less of?

Janet: Yeah, and I love that because I think sometimes we're like, I think I'm doing it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Ask him.

Jocelyn: Yeah. And it's so helpful if I think, after my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband is my primary human relationship, and that does really affect the decisions that I make every single day and throughout the day.

Janet: Right, and it should. Yes. So regardless whether I'm married or not, my next category, my children, if I have them and my parents. So am I teaching and training my children? Am I being proactive? Meaning I have a plan, I'm not just waiting for disobedience and then trying to figure out what to do. Am I thinking ahead? Do I know what character qualities or behaviors I'm specifically working on with my children? Do I know their weaknesses? How about my parents? Do my parents have needs that I should be meeting? Do I know that?

Jocelyn: Yeah. So the next priority is our relationship with other believers. So I could be asking myself, how am I encouraging other believers, or who specifically am I mentoring or discipling? How am I contributing to building up the body of Christ? And where specifically am I serving? What is my ministry?

Janet: Excellent. With that in place, then I start asking, what about the unbelievers around me? What unbelievers around me have some needs? Who am I befriending? How am I letting my light shine? Is my life giving others a good opinion of God? Recognize as you work through this. Higher priorities, take precedence. And at certain seasons of life though, priorities are gonna get moved around.

Jocelyn: Yeah, that was really helpful for me to learn that like what is a priority now is not necessarily gonna be a priority in 20 years, but it is a priority now.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And I can't lose this opportunity.

Janet: When my kids were younger, the priority of parenting was very different than it is now that I have adult children.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And the truth is, we're involved in all of these areas at the same time.

Jocelyn: Yeah. It's not like you can divvy them up.

Janet: Right. So I don't really say it's two o'clock now I move on to believers in the church. It's four o'clock, I can talk to an unbeliever.

Jocelyn: But it certainly does inform how you schedule the practical events of your day.

Janet: Yes. It's just not going to be one-to-one like that.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Because I should be thinking, do my children get whatever time is left over?

Jocelyn: And sometimes I have to say, are my children taking a higher priority than my husband right now? Because my husband is supposed to be the higher priority. And it's easy for me to just switch that around and be like, oh, well the kids need me.

Janet: Right. He's an adult.

Jocelyn: Right. He can care for himself.

Janet: Good. And how could this framework just in general, assist you in determining whether you should take on something more?

Jocelyn: Yeah, that's a good question. I think if I thought about this framework, it would help me to say the right yes and not say yes to something on a lower priority. While at the same time, neglecting something on a higher priority. So if I'm not already taking care of my relationship with my husband, why would I be looking at new ministry opportunities? If I'm not taking care of my kids, why would I be doing new evangelism opportunities? Like I have priorities.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Jesus is my first priority and everything filters after that. And it helps me to say, which is the best one to say yes to?

Janet: Excellent. Because it might be, oh, I would love to do that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But if I know doing that means all of my higher priorities are gonna be hindered. Can we just say I don't believe God is honored by that?

Jocelyn: No.

Janet: Yeah. So we'll talk about some specifics in a minute, but just a couple of more general principles that will help you. Have you ever made the statement or thought it, there just isn't enough time to do all the things I need to do? Well, let's listen to Ecclesiastes 3:1 with that in mind. There's an occasion for everything. And a time for every activity under heaven. So apparently there is a time for all the activities that there are under heaven. It's not God who overloads my schedule, it's me. I believe you always have enough time to do what God wants you to do. The challenge is having the wisdom to do only the things He wants me to do. Not all of the things I could do.

Jocelyn: Because the list is limitless.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We can always add more stuff.

Janet: And things I wanna do.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Yes. So, I do have to get out of my head, I'm just doing all that God wants me to do and it's too much. I have to realize if my schedule is overloaded, I did that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Also, there are opportunities that are related to a higher priority, and they should always take precedence.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We've mentioned that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I'm gonna just say that's a general principle. Before accepting a ministry opportunity, we should evaluate our current priorities, where we're currently serving. I have to ensure that taking this on, doesn't hinder a higher priority.

Jocelyn: That's such an important thing to remember because sometimes we're presented with new opportunities and the old opportunities no longer seem as tantalizing.

Janet: They're not as fun.

Jocelyn: No, and it's easy to say, oh, it doesn't matter if I'm not faithful. Well, when you make a commitment to something you shouldn't take a new thing that will take you from that old commitment.

Janet: That's right. Let your yes, be yes.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Yes. So for me, managing my home, especially when my kids were younger, is a large part of my ministry to my husband and children. I shouldn't take on ministries outside of my home if it means I can't manage my home well.

Jocelyn: But it also means for me, like managing my home means it's important to actually clean my house. Like that's a good way of serving my family. Like, they like walking into a clean house. So I can't be like, oh, I was too busy serving the Lord. The house is not clean.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Like, it never, I never got around to it.

Janet: That's right. That's right. So, it doesn't mean if my floors don't get mopped one week because I was ministering somewhere else, God is displeased.

Jocelyn: No, because emergencies happen.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: You know, sometimes a crisis takes place.

Janet: It does mean that I take into account my home responsibilities. And I talk to my husband about what he needs from me at home before I take on more.

Jocelyn: Right. Exactly.

Janet: Yeah. It's actually encouraged me to get very efficient with my home management so that I actually could do other things.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yeah. If we get it done, then we fill our time with lots more exciting things.

Janet: Yes. Another general principle, focus on areas where you are uniquely designed or positioned to serve. I have found this one.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Really focusing and narrowing for me. For instance, I'm the only one who can be Brent's wife.

Jocelyn: That was really helpful when I realized that about my responsibilities to my family. Like I am literally the only one that can ever be Brian's wife. I'm his wife right now. I'm the literally his wife.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: I am the children's mother.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: There's no one else who should be doing the mothering responsibilities.

Janet: Right. And that's important. I'm Josh and Karis' mom. I'm Brent's wife. So any responsibilities that I have in those categories, I shouldn't be waiting for somebody else to do it.

Jocelyn: Exactly. There is no one else that's gonna do it.

Janet: Now take that and broaden it. And I start looking at just where I have either been uniquely designed or just uniquely positioned. So for me, I'm uniquely positioned to serve seminary wives.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Because my husband's the president of the seminary and I have a window into their life that not everybody has.

Jocelyn: Very few other people will.

Janet: So that needs to be a higher priority to me because not everyone has that position. But I'm not the only one who can lead a Bible study well. So even though I love, love leading small group Bible studies. It's a lower priority than ministering in a place where I'm more uniquely positioned to serve.

Jocelyn: I think that general principle is really helpful, especially as you're presented with a lot of really great opportunities you can say, of these four great opportunities, which one is something that I might be able to do that nobody else could?

Janet: Right. Or less people.

Jocelyn: Yeah. What makes me a better fit for this one?

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And that frees me up to be able to say, I'm excited for your ministry, but I'm not the best person to meet that need.

Janet: Yes. And that brings me to another big principle. Need also takes precedence. And I'm now going to contradict something I just said, which is how we have to be thinking with priorities. I am not uniquely positioned to serve in the nursery. But I can remember the year that I said, where do you need me to serve at VBS. Thinking I serve adults, I teach, I'm good at reaching out to moms and building connections and sharing the gospel, and they said, I would like you to run the nursery.

Jocelyn: What?

Janet: I was like, where else? But you know what? That was the biggest need there.

Jocelyn: That was the need. Yeah.

Janet: They had greeters, they had bible study teachers, they had room leaders. They didn't have anyone to lead nursery.

Jocelyn: And they knew that you had leadership capacity and you could do the thing that needed done.

Janet: So I could either say, that's not what I'm best designed for, or I could say that's the need.

Jocelyn: I'm sorry I'm not uniquely positioned to direct the nursery.

Janet: Yes. And I ran nursery and it was actually pretty cool cuz I got to meet a lot of moms. So, it doesn't mean I can only serve in certain giftings, but it does mean I look at where I'm uniquely gifted and then I factor in where is the greatest need?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And you know how I find that out? I ask my pastor. These are my gifts and abilities, but where do you need me? What a great thing to do for your pastor because if you think about the story of the Good Samaritan, they defined the neighbor was the one who had a need. So, and the person that was lauded was the one who was willing to meet the need. So I would say when I do my bullseye, I always intersect it with a line called need. So while we do look at the hierarchy of the priorities listed, we do also take into account who has the greatest need. There's somebody bleeding on the side of the road, and I don't say, it's the time I homeschool my children.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: I call the cops and I get out there and do what I can.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: So need does take precedence.

Jocelyn: Like practically. There have been a couple of times where I've had to go help take care of my parents, which meant that I couldn't homeschool my kids for a week.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like, because the need was there. Like someone had hurt themselves and they needed someone to care for them. So the need always will take precedence because the need won't be there in a week.

Janet: Right, and what a gift to your children to show them that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Like that was actually good parenting as well to show them that. So at times I'm gonna sacrifice time with my family to help a church or community member going through a crisis. And at times I'm gonna serve outside of my unique gifting because there's a need. However, the last principle need does not necessitate a call. And I really think that that's important.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So need does not necessitate a call, and I think that's really important. Jocelyn, to that point, can you read for us, Mark 1:35-39?

Jocelyn: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for Him, and when they found Him, they exclaimed. Everyone is looking for you. Jesus replied, let us go somewhere else to the nearby villages so I can preach there also. That is why I have come. So He traveled throughout Galilee preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Janet: So think about what just happened here. Christ has been in Capernaum preaching all that day, healing the sick, driving out demons. News about Him spread quickly over all of Galilee. Many people, in fact, the whole town, it says, came to Him to be healed. He's up late into the night ministering to others, and then the next day, They say to Him, hey, everybody's looking for you. Well, was there a need left in that town?

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: Yeah, it was still there.

Jocelyn: Obviously, yeah.

Janet: Would it have been a good decision for Him to stay there and help those in need?

Jocelyn: Sure. It wouldn't have been bad.

Janet: Right. And so how fascinating. When they say everyone's looking for you and Jesus says, let's go somewhere else. What? He doesn't say, oh really? Who needs me? He says, let's go somewhere else. Well, it was after a night of praying, spending time with His Father, and He didn't forget His number one priority. He knew His purpose. He knew what He needed to do to fulfill God's goal and purpose for His life. So after spending time alone with God, Christ was able to make the best decision, which was to leave that town and go to another place. Because He knew if I heal everyone in this town.

Jocelyn: Then the message still won't have gone out.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: People would just be better.

Janet: They'll be healthier till they die and don't go to heaven.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Well, that's not the goal. So I'm gonna suggest many of our decisions are similar. We're not always choosing between that's a really bad idea.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And here's a good one.

Jocelyn: Yeah, that's very rare. Like I don't rarely have, is this a good choice or a bad choice? It's like, which of these five choices is the best choice?

Janet: Yes. Now, and sometimes we know something's bad and we wanna do it anyway, but at that point, we're not really talking about that's gonna honor God.

Jocelyn: That's a different conversation.

Janet: Yes. So how do I do that? Well, it's gonna take discernment, wisdom, and I really have to know my goal, my purpose, my priorities, if I'm gonna make those kinds of decisions.

Jocelyn: Exactly.

Janet: And not do a good thing because it's not the best thing. And Christ, of course, was the perfect example of this. He didn't do everything He could have done when He left a village. Not every sick person was healed.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: People continued to die.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: He had the power to heal, but He used it for God's glory and purposes, and we're gonna have to recognize the same thing. Just because God's given me a skill or ability, it doesn't mean I always exercise it.

Jocelyn: That's really helpful and it's really helpful that Jesus was the one that lived that way, so we can see His example.

Janet: Yes. Yes. He didn't do everything other people wanted Him to do.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: In John 6:14-15, the people say they wanna make Him king right then, and what it says He did withdrew away from them. He was so focused on doing only what God wanted, that he was able to say no to things that were not part of that plan. Oh, that we could be that discerning.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that's my prayer.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Is that it wouldn't be, no, I don't want to do it. Or yes, I want to do it, but how does that fit with the purposes that God's given me? He did what God His father wanted Him to do.

Jocelyn: And in John, we also see lots and lots of times when He didn't do. Anything except for what God the father wanted Him to do. It was His. It was His locus of control in His decision making.

Janet: Yes, yes. And He knew what that was.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We're gonna have to spend time with God and in His word, if we're going to be able to grow in that wisdom. And I do believe that's part of why we have community. People around us. Do you have people in your life that aren't looking for ways to help you be lazy? But that they might look at you and say, can you help me with how that fits with your priorities? Or there are things you can be doing and you're not doing it right. We need those people in our life cuz the ultimate challenge for us is to be confident of God. Of what God wants us to do and then to rest only in doing those things.

Jocelyn: That's helpful.

Janet: None of us has arrived. It's an ongoing process. Some of you are wishing that I had said here's the three and you'll always know, but I do believe if we look at those priorities, we're spending time with the Lord and we're aware of our own idolatry. If I know I tend to be lazy.

Jocelyn: Yeah, right.

Janet: Then I don't let myself off the hook just cuz I'm tired.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: I say, is this possibly being impacted by what I know? Who in my life knows my sin tendencies enough that I could say to them, I've been asked to do this, can you help me think it through? What are my priorities? How would that affect my other priorities? Is there something lower that I could give up?

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: That I don't need to be doing. So these are not one and done, but I do, I have found these to really help me to structure my life and to continue to restructure it on an ongoing basis.

Jocelyn: And they're so practical. I learned the biblical priorities concept, probably more than a decade ago, two decades ago, probably, but it still shapes the way that I make decisions almost on a daily basis. Like, should I do this or not do this? Neither of them was inherently sinful, but one was wiser than the other.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Should I choose this or should I choose that? Or who should have my attention right now or my focus? So it's been a really important kind of structure to form my life around for a lot of years.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And it's very, very practical.

Janet: I hope that women will find that helpful. We are gonna list in our show notes, Bev Moore at our church taught a class in our Women's Foundation series on priorities that will also be helpful to you if you want to watch that. There's also a book called, Decisions, Decisions.

Jocelyn: I love that book.

Janet: I thought it was very helpful.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So couple of other resources as you're thinking through that. I have not finished, but have heard about Kevin D. Young's book, Crazy Busy.

Jocelyn: Crazy Busy? I've heard so much about that book.

Janet: Yes. I would recommend that one as well because I heard a synopsis of it. Have not had time to read it, but that would be another one that we will add in our show notes as well. Hopefully this was helpful to you.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I hope that you'll be able to join us for our next episode. Okay, ladies, as we promised, this is our fourth quarter memory verse, and I am excited for this passage. This one's a little bit different. What we've done is take Psalm 90 and we've got six different verses within Psalm 90 that we're gonna memorize as a passage. The verses are verse 2, 5, 10, 12, 14, and 17. We will have a document in our show notes that have those verses all together as our passage, but especially as we're talking about how we're gonna use our time. We loved this passage. Jocelyn, can you read that for us?

Jocelyn: Sure. I'm reading this in the NLT. This is Psalm 90. Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world from beginning to end, you are God. You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They're like grass that springs up in the morning. 70 years are given to us. Some even live to 80, but even the best years are filled with pain and trouble. Soon they disappear and we fly away. Teach us to realize the brevity of life so that we may grow in wisdom. Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful.

Janet: I love this passage and I have this written down for myself already, and I wrote a prayer to go with it that helps me when my priorities are not what we've just said, but instead, my priorities can be about myself. And here's the prayer that goes along with those verses for me. I sinfully want to be remembered, appreciated, and seen. I want others to notice what I've done and praise it. There is such freedom in remembering that we will soon disappear and won't be remembered, but God remains, whatever I do that will draw attention to Him, will last even if no one remembers that I did it, and that is freedom. I beg God to help me be satisfied each morning with His hesed that will bring me joy to the end of my life. And then for His grace to make my effort successful for His glory. Thank you that what I do really matters in a far bigger way than being remembered. I hope that will be a help to you as well as you look at your priorities, and I hope you'll join us again for our next episode.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.