(Articles between now and Thanksgiving will be based on questions to ask yourself so you can prepare your heart to truly be thankful. They are written by different women in our church. You may want to read the first one, Preparing for Thanksgiving, by Christie Smith.
The sluggard. Have you ever thought about that fellow, so often mentioned in the book of Proverbs? Do you ever find yourself (as I have) skimming quickly over those verses, because in your mind that word describes someone else: a drunk, a homeless person, perhaps, but certainly not me! I live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood! I cook, clean, work hard, and volunteer! I have 10 kids, for crying out loud! A sluggard? That doesn’t apply to me at all!
Recently, I came across a verse that stopped me in my tracks. It caused me to re-evaluate my idea of a sluggard…and to realize “that fellow” looked an awfully lot like me!
Proverbs 13:4 - “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.”
You see, in my mind, a sluggard is lazy because he simply doesn’t care…but this is a misconception! The sluggard has desires! In fact, he craves a different life! I have many desires myself! How convicting to realize that I can desire good things…but if I am not being diligent working toward them, if I am being lazy in my church attendance, my prayer life, my Bible study, just to name a few…then I will never see those desires realized! In other words, wanting something badly isn’t good enough. There has to be action on my part!
How encouraging to know the alternative is true, though! How exciting to realize that if I am diligent, my desires will be fully satisfied!
So how does this translate to my life? How should this change the way I live? I began by writing down some of my greatest desires for my life, my kids, my home, and my marriage. I asked myself, “What do I crave? What do I most desire in each of these areas?” As I began to write down these deepest longings of my heart, I asked God to show me how I could be more diligent in seeing these desires come to pass. For instance, I have long desired to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but if I am not diligent in making right choices about what I put into my body…if I do not make time to exercise…it simply is not going to happen!
My home is another area where I need to exercise more diligence! Despite my desire to have a clean, organized home, it seems that the laundry, dishes, and clutter overwhelm me most of the time. However, I must keep at it! If I am diligent in using my time wisely…putting down my phone, and picking up a dishrag…it is amazing what God allows me to accomplish!
I desire so much for my kids! I crave for each of them to have a deep, growing, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ…to walk in His ways…to seek Him with all of their hearts! However, I cannot be lazy about praying for them, training them, and teaching them God’s Word! A quick “God bless them & keep them safe” prayer isn’t going to cut it! They are being bombarded with temptations, peer pressure, and the world’s philosophies daily. Satan wants my children! I cannot afford not to be diligent on their behalf!
My list continued on…but I think you get the idea. I have a new index card on my bathroom mirror that asks the following questions: “Am I being diligent spiritually? Am I being diligent physically? Am I being diligent in my housekeeping? Am I being diligent relationally toward my family?” Your desires will most certainly be different than mine! You may be strong in areas that I am struggling with, and things that come easily to me may be frustrating to you!
The important thing is to ask yourself these questions:
“What are my greatest desires?”
“Have I committed these desires to the Lord?”
“How can I be more diligent in seeing these desires come to fruition?”
I am praying that as I commit each of these areas to God, and am diligent in doing what He has asked me to do…He will take my meager efforts and give me the help I need to see my desires…and His desires for me… fully satisfied.