Enabling a poor life…

The one who is lazy becomes poor,
but the one who works diligently becomes wealthy.
The one who gathers crops in the summer is a wise son,
but the one who sleeps during the harvest
is a son who brings shame to himself.  -Proverbs 10:4-5 (NET)

We have sadly turned into a society that seems to sometimes promote the idea that everybody deserves to have exactly the same prosperity, regardless of personal effort. Even our children are being taught that “everybody is a winner; there are no losers.” Sadly, that is a lie. Not only that, many don’t succeed because they don’t put the same effort in as those who ‘win.’ Our social ‘safety nets’ have become social ‘baby cradles.’ This does not profit a person who could be more self-sufficient in the least. Part of being my “brother’s keeper” is to sometimes say no and insist that a person work for something.

God wants us to enjoy our lives in service to Him as a testament to His infinite love for us. His best for us always requires some action on our part, be it physical and/or spiritual. As James writes, “faith without works is dead.”

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Who’s to blame?

The foolishness of man undermines his way [ruining whatever he undertakes];
Then his heart is resentful and rages against the Lord [for, being a fool, he blames the Lord instead of himself]. -Proverbs 19:3 (AMP)

Ok, the verdict’s in: I am a fool. Or, at least I have been one on more than one occasion in the past. I think that most of us — if we care to be honest with ourselves and God, would be forced to admit that we have blamed Him for things that are products of our actions. Thank you, LORD, for forgiving me for the foolish things I have done and even tried to blame on You. The limits of Your love are, most certainly, beyond my comprehension!

Correction. Not so bad.

A [flippant, arrogant] fool rejects his father’s instruction and correction,
But he who [is willing to learn and] regards and keeps in mind a reprimand acquires good sense. -Proverbs 15:5 (AMP)

How many times in my youth was I reprimanded for something, only to quickly forget it and repeat the same foolish behavior? Rather than acknowledge my father’s and mother’s wisdom and take to heart the correction, I allowed self-will, driven by an unhealthy ego and the ignorance of my youth, to get in the way and ultimately face the same “jackpots.”

Nobody likes to be reprimanded. The same ego is present many years later that wants me to ignore any correction, avoid any admission that might even lead to an apology and ultimately turn the tables and demand satisfaction for my poor bruised ego.

I look back as an older man today and see instances where I wish I had taken to heart the lessons I was presented with in my younger days. How many of them, if heeded, would have saved me much heartache and consequences through my adult life!

Stay in Good Standing!

Righteousness (being in right standing with God) guards the one whose way is blameless,
But wickedness undermines and overthrows the sinner. -Proverbs 13:6 (AMP)

So often people think they have “gotten over” on somebody (or maybe even God), only to discover the error of their ways and the high cost of their sin. This isn’t just the case of those who aren’t saved; we have all fallen short of the glory of God as sinners, depending on God’s grace and continual forgiveness as a result of our saving faith in Jesus. Even though we are forgiven by our LORD, that doesn’t mean that consequences won’t arrive and that some payment for what we have done will be exacted. Better to stay in faithful communion with God and attentive to the Holy Spirit as He directs our path, don’t you think?

 

Student Loans

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. –Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)

I hear an awful lot these days about the burden young people face when graduating institutions of higher learning because they are saddled with so much student loan debt. By the way, in case you didn’t know this: student loan debt never goes away. It is inescapable. One leaves school after 2-4 years of classroom education and is hopeful that he or she will find a really good paying job in whatever field of endeavor they have chosen as a career goal. Filled with a variety of thoughts, ideas, facts and figures imparted to them at a costly price by their fellow human beings, they often have a self-perception that they are knowledgable enough to take on anything, only to learn as they age that they don’t know as much as they think they do! Sound familiar? It was certainly that way with me.

So here they are, often with the burden of a debt equivalent to buying a house and they haven’t even embarked on their career yet. All too often, such is the way of this world. But there is a wisdom;, one which requires only love and devotion to God and study of Scripture (the text book He has provided for us) that can be had for the asking. You see, God has paid the very high price of your tuition: Jesus. All you must do is to be drawn to enroll. Your acceptance is guaranteed!

AGING GRACEFULLY!

The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is the gray head. –Proverbs 20:29 (MEV) As someone whose hair (what’s left of it) is silver-gray, I appreciate that I still have some beauty! As a younger man, I often thought some of the things my father and others who were older were trying to teach me was foolishness from a bygone generation. I have come to realize, as an older man, that there is a wisdom which comes from walking with the Lord and it is not imparted overnight. Some things (many) take time to learn.