When I was studying to become a medical transcriptionist I was warned the industry was changing, so from my first job in the college health clinic I kept looking ahead for adjustments I might need to make.
Pay Attention to Good Management
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations” (Proverbs 27:23-24 NIV).
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I need to manage what I have carefully, saving for the future and preparing for the times when things might be harder. The line that says “a crown is not secure” means the places where I hold authority today may not be the same tomorrow, so I need to be aware.
“When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field” (verses 25-26). Nothing beats a good work ethic, bringing in my earnings and caring for them properly. And cultivating multiple ways to increase my assets will bring more security. The part about the goats providing “price of a field” means that I can trade what I produce to invest in additional ways to increase my productivity.
Share the Abundance
“You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family and to nourish your female servants” (verse 27). They key here is the word plenty. Paying careful attention, managing my resources well, will give me more than enough for my family’s needs – enough to share with others.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you created this world to produce plenty under our management. I love being a part of creating increase! Your kindness is overwhelming. Thank you for teaching us your ways.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis
Does a word ever occupy your mind – and then you end up having to look it up in the dictionary to give it a rest? It was that way with me this weekend. The word was arrogance, “showing an offensive attitude of superiority.”
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2 NIV).
I remember when humility and wisdom together struck me like a hammer my senior year in high school. One evening I decided I was too proud of my long brown curls. Convinced there was nothing attractive about me except my hair, I thought it wonderfully self-sacrificing and holy to chop it off. I don’t know if there is such thing as a holy drama queen, but it made perfect sense to me then.
As I walked around campus the next day comparing myself to other less-than-holy students, I flicked my hair off my shoulders. I stopped in my tracks when I realized I was enamored with my own humility. Yup, proud of being humble. Can you believe it? Cutting my hair had done nothing to curb my pride.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (verse 3).
Thankfully, I heard that inner voice directing me to the realization that nothing I do to my appearance can change my heart.
In my previous post here, I highlighted some proverbs that speak to diligence vs. laziness, wealth vs. poverty. Here are a few more to consider.
“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (verse 4) and “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf” (verse 28).
It’s a good thing to work hard to produce enough to meet my needs and to share with others, but I can’t put my trust in wealth in every situation. Righteousness always has more value.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis
This proverb from chapter 23 isn’t saying that we shouldn’t work hard or that we shouldn’t save for the future. It’s saying we need to keep a balanced outlook.
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone; for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV
The “dying man” perspective helps me keep balance in my life. Have you ever heard of someone on his or her death-bed expressing regret because the days of working and buying things were coming to an end? Normally the regrets you hear about are their wishes they’d held their families and close friends in higher regard – spent more time with their children, told their spouses of their love more often, given more attention to their friends, etc.
“…have the wisdom to show restraint.” Money doesn’t last forever. The people God places in our lives have eternal value.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis