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Every decision we make, big or small, is not just a decision to do or not do one singular thing. It’s a trade-off. Saying yes to one thing inevitably means we are saying no to another.
This simple truth is one that we should keep in mind, especially when it comes to the things that are important to us: namely, our faith and our relationships.
If you are struggling to develop a prayer life, ask yourself, what are you choosing instead of prayer? Is it sleeping in? Watching Netflix? Where is the trade-off occuring in your life?
If your marriage or relationships are suffering, what are you choosing instead of spending time with loved ones? Is it working late? Scrolling through social media feeds? Are you physically present but mentally absent, thinking about work?
Another very clear example is if we choose to miss Mass. What are we placing above the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Why are we ignoring a crystal clear obligation as Catholics? What’s the trade-off here?
The things that are important to us, or the things that we claim are important, need to take priority. That sometimes means saying no to things that might not even be ‘bad,’ per se. It’s all a trade-off, and if we’re not aware of what we’re trading, we’re going to end up making some bad deals.