Ordered vs. Organized

There is a difference between living a life that is organized and living a life that is ordered. Plenty of people strive to live an organized life but one that isn’t necessarily ordered toward a specific end. On the other hand, a person who’s life is ordered may or may not be organized, depending on the person.

What is the Difference?

There is a lot of buzz about organization in todays world. There are numerous methods, meticulous planners, and charts upon charts. Many people are looking to methods such as the KonMari method to help them organize their lives. Organizing ones life is a noble—and some may add, necessary—thing to do. However it only makes sense inso far as the context of the end, the why one is organizing. If the end is simply organization without a greater purpose in which organization serves, no matter what method one uses, it won’t stick.

The Importance of Order

Ordered lives are essential. What do I mean by ordered?

In the beginning when God created the world, He created man with an innate order in his being. Man was created in relationship to four things:

  1. God
  2. creation
  3. himself
  4. other humans

In the garden, harmony was present because man was ordered the way that God intended. But after the fall, man became master of himself in a new way. He thought he could do better than God at ordering his life and so he decided to chose for himself what he thought was the highest good and what was less important.

In turn, man actually lost his self mastery to all the temptations of the world. Food, passions, and feelings now rule man. Man does not even realize that he is no longer master over himself because he is getting what he thinks he wants. He is driven with desire for things of this world that are of little consequence to mans actual end.


God’s desire for man is to be master over himself, as man “is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself” (Gaudiem et Spes 24). It is something innate in our dignity to be able to be master over ourselves. In order to regain this mastery we must reorder our lives to reflect God’s design. To order oneself means to put oneself under something or someone else; in this instance, God. Only by putting ourselves under the protection and guidance of God will we be able to reclaim our status of master over ourselves and creation as God commanded in the garden.

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How to Be Properly Ordered

Here are some practical ways to put oneself back in order.

Under God

  • Make a daily act of surrender to God’s will, such as: Lord, You know better than I what is good for me. Come soften my heart to be able to say, I surrender my will to Your merciful and loving Heart. Take me as I am and place in me Your will in place of my own. I trust You, Lord. Help me trust You more. I love You, Lord. Help me love you more. Amen.
  • Bring your daily decisions to God in prayer.
  • Ask God what He would like you to focus on in a particular season.

Over Ourselves

  • Prioritize your schedule and life to reflect your final end. For example: prioritize prayer and the Sacraments, time with your family and friends, and so on.
  • Recognize any addictions you may have, whether it be food, social media, television, always needing to be right, etc. Make a plan of little steps to help you break free of those things that have their hold on you and your will.
  • Practice the discipline of fasting and recognize that denying yourself something is still a free decision of your will.

Next to Our Neighbors

  • Choose with your will to serve those closest to you out of the love in your heart, whether that means making dinner for your family without grumbling or choosing to take time out of your day to listen to someone who needs to talk.
  • Identify where you are being selfish instead of serving others in your relationships and actively work to change your approach.
  • Look each person you encounter in the eye and act in a way that lets them know their dignity.

Over Creation

  • Recognize that you were created to have dominion over the earth, plant a garden and tend for it, or buy a houseplant and look after it.
  • Take care of the piece of earth that has been entrusted to you to take care of.
  • Behold the beauty of creation that the Creator made for you to enjoy.

These are just a few ways to begin to order one’s life. The real task is in the everyday; every intention, every act, and every word. Begin today by asking for God’s help to undertake this transformation.

What are some ways that you see your life in order with God’s design? How can you reorder your life to be more in harmony with His plan?

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Laura Jean is a student, creator, and a lover of beauty, pursuing a masters degree in marriage and family in Austria. She blogs about her adventures, hobbies, and how God is pursuing her heart as she balances her life between two continents. You can find out more about her here.

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