Many people only change when crisis demands it. We go on a diet after our doctors say we are in danger, make a budget after we are in significant debt, and go to marriage counselors or pastors after the possibility of divorce has been put on the table. It is far wiser and more hopeful to make changes before crisis demands it. This is the principle of the ant which Proverbs 6:6-11 speaks of saying:
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
In this, the final daily devotional for our study in Proverbs, I wanted to give you permission to make practical changes in your routine, relationships, and responsibilities. Considering these questions will help you make better plans for a better life.
Change your routine:
- What top three things do you hope to change with yourself in this season of life? Your family? Your spouse? Your job? Your ministry? Your health? Your finances? Other?
- What top three emotion, time, and/or energy-wasters do you need to drop immediately?
- What three changes in your life would make the biggest difference right now?
- What three things do you need the most (such as different car, gym membership, computer, home office, cell phone, high-speed wifi at home)?
- What obstacles are keeping you from living by your convictions (for example, a cluttered house, no budget, lack of prayer time)?
Change your relationships:
- List the people in your life who are life-taking and not life-giving. Prayerfully determine if you are to continue serving them, reduce your involvement in their lives, or shift the entire burden for their well-being back to themselves.
- Who do you need to distance yourself from because they are taking time, money, or energy away from your first priorities?
Change your responsibilities:
List all the things you can hand off to someone else, for example:
- Ordering groceries online and having them delivered
- Paying someone to maintain your yard
- Hiring a professional to file your taxes
- Hiring a handyman for household projects
- Having your kids run errands and do chores to lighten your load
- Outsourcing ironing and other time-consuming tasks
- Start saying “no” to things you have previously said “yes” to
- Letting unimportant things slide a bit and not try to do everything perfectly
Proverbs is practical. It is about fearing God and architecting a life of wisdom to live in. Just as your home had an architect, you also need to architect your life with a plan.
What change(s) are most urgently needed in your life?