One Way to Keep from Being Robbed – Proverbs 24

Did you know we can cheat ourselves out of having what we need? This saying draws a picture of a lazy person’s field where his resources don’t grow well and his boundaries aren’t sound. That means animals and people can easily get into his business. Their laziness robs them.

used with permission hkeller. stockxchng

used with permission hkeller. stockxchng

“I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense. Thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:

“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a thief, and scarcity like an armed man” (Proverbs 24:30-34 NIV).

He comes to poverty because he’d rather “chill” than take care of his own affairs.

Because of the way I was raised, being lazy hasn’t been much of a temptation for me. But there is one aspect to this I have struggled with – refusing to work hard and calling it “trusting God.” Oh, ouch!

This is what pried me loose from my misguided laziness-mixed-with-faith ideas: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23 NIV).

We will profit if we work hard. Hopefully, we will learn how to work better as we practice at it. Better productivity, more enjoyment in our work, etc.

There is a time for sleep, of course. But after some hard work sleep is especially sweet.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

They Lie to Me – Proverbs 23

Do you argue with ads? We got rid of our TV a long time ago, but I used to talk back to commercials spouting their boisterous messages about my shortcomings without their product. Or the glamour girls were passed off as women I should emulate. Or buying “X” would ensure my good health, appeal, or confidence.

And the insinuations, oh my! Something must be wrong with me because I don’t feel compelled to buy what they’re selling.

I Hate Being Lied To.

That’s the heart of it. I’ve worked hard to keep my focus on what’s true, so I get agitated when voices bombard my head with deceiving messages.

Does Food Lie to You?

“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive” (Proverbs 23:1-3 NIV).

One set of lies that are a continual battle is what my own cravings tell me about food. If it’s not “more is better than less,” then it’s “sweets are the reward for eating what you don’t like.”

When I unravel the deceptions I gain a sense of freedom and right-ness in my clearer thinking.

used with permission. falconreid. stockxchng

used with permission. falconreid. stockxchng

“Listen, my son, and be wise. Set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags” (verses 19-21 NIV).

Prayer

Lord, help me to be more discerning about what I believe. I long to walk in the way of truth and not be distracted by popular or noisy voices. Thank you for Jesus’ promise that “truth shall make you free.”

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

A Gazelle and an Ant Have This in Common – Proverbs 6

When I’ve made an agreement or promise I regret, it’s not a time to dawdle.

“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:1-2 NIV).

I can imagine my grandsons using their pirate voices. “Oh, no! Get ye out of there, matey — RUN!”

“So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go — to the point of exhaustion — and give your neighbor no rest! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler” (verses 3-5).

used with permission. ccrismp

used with permission. ccrismp

Obviously, in this case I need to take care of business right away, even to the point of exhaustion, and work on getting myself free from the unwise obligation. It should not be put off for any reason.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (verses 6-7).

When a predator alarms a gazelle, it doesn’t take a nap before seeking its escape. And the ant’s diligence is what ensures the colony’s survival. No one tells these animals it’s a good idea to move, and they certainly don’t wait for someone else to free them or store up their food.

May I be so smart.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis