I’m Choosing To Cheat

I’m cheating. And I bet that you are, too. In fact, most us of cheat at one time or another.

That’s the premise of Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley. In it, Stanley contends that we are all far too busy. We have too many commitments at work and at home; we’re stretched too thin, being pulled in every direction. There’s no way we’ll accomplish everything. Sound familiar?

So Many Things, So Little Time

So what do we do? We try as hard as we can. We spend a few extra hours at work to try to get caught up, cheating our family of that time. We take a long lunch or call in sick to get some personal things done, cheating work.

But we still come up short. No matter how hard we try, some things will be left undone. There’s just too much to do. We can’t do it all. We will miss some commitments that we’ve made. The only question is which ones.

Who Are Cheating?

For many of us, the two largest sources of commitments come from work and family. Think about those for a moment.

At work, you are replaceable. As good as you may be at your job, you’re still replaceable. If you quit, they will find another person to do your job. If you do your job poorly, they’ll fire you. If business becomes slow, they’ll lay you off. The company has very little, if any, loyalty to you as an individual. Yet many of us have great loyalty to our work. We work long hours, often burning the midnight oil, in the hopes of getting caught up or being recognized for a promotion.

Conversely at home, no one else can fill your shoes. You are the only husband or wife that your spouse has. Only you can be the mother or father to your kids. No one else can fill your role. And your family has nearly unlimited loyalty to you.

Yet when push comes to shove, many of us choose to cheat our family rather than work. We choose to devote extra time to the entity that has zero loyalty to us while robbing those that have nearly unlimited loyalty to us. We focus on areas where we are replaceable at the expense of areas where we’re irreplaceable. We choose to spend our time doing things that will be obsolete in five short years while cheating in areas where our impact may be felt for a lifetime or even longer.

Why? And what could we, should we do about it?

Making A Conscious Choice

In Choosing To Cheat, Stanley tackles this problem. He doesn’t pretend to have easy answers. But he does call your attention to the problem and offer some creative ways to approach your work and home life. I definitely learned a lot from the book.

It’s a short, easy read. You can easily finish it in one sitting or on a short flight. But it can be life changing if read with an openness and taken to heart. I have a good friend who would say that it literally helped to saved his marriage.

So, if you’re cheating, are you choosing wisely?

14 Responses to I’m Choosing To Cheat

  1. Pingback: A Community Divided | Kevin E. Kline

  2. Pingback: Review: Choosing to Cheat « The Goal Keeping DBA

  3. Janice Lee says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this post. The day I read it, it almost made me cry. I was going to comment but–incidentally, I was on vacation with my husband so it just seemed to be the wrong time to do it.

    It made me really think though, why do I tend to make the wrong choice on whom to cheat? And I realized, it’s because I knew, my “choice” would always understand. Yeah, it’s sad.

    When I read this post, I actually turned my phone off. 🙂

    I’ll definitely grab the book. Great post, Joe.

    • Joe Webb says:

      Thanks, Janice. This is one of those posts I write for myself as much as anyone. Writing it still caused some pangs of guilt since it still fall short in this area, but not as far short as before reading the book. Life is about moderation.

      The author is a pastor of a church outside of Atlanta as well as a counselor. He’s got some great advice on techniques to bring things back in balance.

      Let me know how you like the book.

  4. Excellent post Joe! I have added this to my Books to Buy list and downloaded the sample to my iPhone.

    Unfortunately, as Janice Lee notes, all too often we default to choosing to cheat the ones who “will understand”. Sometimes we do that with other behavior, too, for example putting kids before our spouse because our spouse will understand. And perhaps that is true for a one-off event, but do that too many times and they don’t understand anymore (nor should they).

    A mentor once told me, “Show me where you put your money and your time and I’ll tell you what your values REALLY are.”

  5. Pingback: Balancing Work and Life « WebbTech Solutions

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