Want to jump in to Proverbs 6? Click here.
Hi there! In case you missed it, I extended an invitation a few weeks ago to join me in walking through Proverbs. Jump in ANY time. You can read the chapter we’re looking at before reading on (optional but definitely good for you if you can swing it!) I also recommend asking a friend to join you on the journey. (Click this link to take you to the introduction to this series if you want to know more.) I think we might need this wisdom these days more than ever!
First things first, beware! This section of Proverbs can seem a little “irrelevant” to us if we’re not careful. Aren’t we long past the days of lending large sums of money to friends? Doesn’t everybody just go to the bank? Do people still co-sign on loans for people they’re not related to?
While I’m certain there are still folks signing on the dotted line when they shouldn’t be — it’s not just a matter of saying you’ll cover something when someone else is receiving the benefits of a loan. The core point might be stated like this. Every yes is also a no. Be careful, therefore, what you’re willing to say yes to.
A few years ago, a friend shared a crazy story with us at a small group meeting. One year, he’d worked particularly crazy hard. He’d taken on extra speaking opportunities and been a director at special events. He said the “warm blanket of significance of importance and affirmation” along with the people-pleaser genes pushed him to say yes again and again.
He began justifying all these extra “opportunities” by planning a Christmas trip to Disney for his family, spending significant amounts of time away, way more often than he’d ever intended. Pulling into Orlando for the big event the family stopped at a grocery store to pick up some provisions for the week. Next, his 5 year old threw up on the floor of the grocery store. And like that — all the saving and work and time away from his family? It seemed to disappear like a puff of smoke, right before his eyes.
I interviewed him about this crazy story, because he had a few key take-aways to share, and this bullet point list about sums it up:
- The stomach bug usually only lasts 24 hours
- Until the second kid catches it on day 2 of the epic family vacay
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
- Don’t put any puke into a paper fast food bag in the minivan
- Wasted money is way more replaceable than wasted time
- When it comes to time with your kids: quantity over quality, always
- If you say “no” to the extra job or whatever, they’ll just ask the next person on the list
Our world is in a crazy place right now. We all feel kind of upside down and sideways. We’re wrestling to figure out what ‘normal’ is supposed to look like in this season. Life feels kind of scary, am I right?
I keep thinking this one thing that I want to remember (and share):
Inside every challenge, struggle, or problem, there’s always an opportunity.
Even facing the possibility of losing a child last year, we discovery opportunity. To grow in our faith. To share our faith. To experience the incredible love and care of our community. To strengthen our family.
This is something God does: He takes indescribably, unimaginably hard things and turns them into something beautiful.
So what are we going to do with the time on our hands?
And can we all recite this key point my friend made, one more time? Wasted money is way more replaceable than wasted time.
Reflect with me for a moment. There’s this crazy warning here in Proverbs 6: Don’t get caught in the snare of debt. Don’t put your family at risk by taking on a debt you might someday be asked to repay. And maybe we need to consider that the debt can sometimes look less like a loan at the bank, and sometimes more like the things you’ve said yes to, the contracts you’ve signed, the commitments you’ve made. Wasted money is way more replaceable than wasted time.
A yes to something is always, always also a no to something else.
Rethink that word faithful we talked about back in Proverbs 5 and remember: faithfulness will look different for you from how it looks for everybody else. God can, and does, write 7 billion stories simultaneously. What does He want to write with yours? And is it possible you’ve been committing yourself to things that make following the story He wants to write with you impossible?
This is the quiet our souls have probably been waiting for. Before the world gets loud again, embrace the quiet and get still. You are going to jump back into life again. This thing is not forever.
Ask: What do you want to be true a month from now? With regard to your life, or your routines, or your family relationships… is this slowing down of the pace showing you anything?
It’s not that it’s wrong to take your kids to Disney or save up for some other big and special event. Heaven knows we believe in traveling around these parts!!
But the good, friends, the good is so often the enemy of the best.
And we can find ourselves trapped in chasing after the good, while the best is the opportunity cost we just can’t have if we choose the good.
The Message puts it this way:
“If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess…”
Let’s aim at saying yes to God’s best…
Now… Could you give a few moments to some yeses and no’s you’ve made recently? Is there a common denominator that typically ties together the yeses you wish you hadn’t “yes’d”? Or to the no’s you should’ve “yes’d”? Could there be a Disney dream you’re chasing — and at what cost? Ask Jesus for wisdom and perspective.
I sure hope this was an encouragement to you today! Could you use some more encouragement during this crazy pandemic? If so, you can subscribe and never miss my (weekly) posts by clicking right here. I’ll do a happy dance, and you’ll get encouraging words in your inbox once a week! (I’ll also send you an awesome Meal Plan Step-by-Step Guide… Definitely a win/win! Hint: I Instant Pot like nobody’s business.
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