Summary: Wise people don’t sit and wait for things to happen, instead they take action to do what Jesus wants them to do.
Wise Living Series #3
WISE PEOPLE TAKE INITIATIVE. They just don’t sit and watch,
they take action to accomplish what they believe God wants.
Welcome to our Wise Living Series. We’re discovering biblical principles to equip us for life – to live our lives to the fullest, to live well. Wise living is understanding and patterning our lives according to the structure and order that God built into the world. A truly wise person lives according to God’s plan.
We first look into what is required to live wisely. We enter the road leading to wisdom through the fear of God defined as: Not being frightened, or scared of God (although we should). It is deep and healthy respect for God, and His authority, which, when make us personally loathe sin and love righteousness.
In our second message we pointed to the need of clearly defined plans. Wise people have a sense of what God wants and plan their lives to fulfill those plans. Wise people have a sense of their God-given destinations and have made plans at arriving there.
Today, let us look at another aspect of wise living – taking initiative. Someone said there are three types of people in the world: those who do not know what is happening; those who watch what is happening; and those who make things happen. Wise people make things happen. Wise people take initiative. They see a problem and act on it. They don’t just sit passively and wait for opportunities to come. They prayerfully take actions. When faced with a problem, or a need, the wise person goes to God, seeks for wisdom, and then takes a piece of paper, and begin to consider her/his options. What should I do Lord? What do you want me to do? And then take action.
It makes sense isn’t it? If you have a problem, you take action. What else is there to do? Unfortunately, not many people, followers of Christ, included, do it. This perverted human tendency causes the writer of Proverbs to warn us of laziness. Instead of taking action, the lazy person does nothing. Instead he or she sits passively, watching, waiting for something to happen.
The Book of Proverbs call people who live by this philosophy as sluggards. (Mga batugan; Tamad). A slug is a slimy snail like creature that has no shell. It walks so slowly and without direction. Sluggards are lazy:
“So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy – do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest!” Proverbs 6:9-11 (The Message)
Dirt-poor life! Poverty your permanent houseguest! While the OT may have viewed this warning as referring primarily to material poverty, we are safe to apply this to every area of our lives: mental poverty; physical; social; emotional; spiritual; potential resulting in unfulfilled lives and unrealized potential.
Laziness causes a lot of damage in people. Add hunger and loss of human potential to poverty. One proverbs that drives this point with humor is Proverbs 19:24 24: “ Some people are so lazy that they won’t even lift a finger to feed themselves.” (NLT)
This is a humorous exaggeration meant to make us feel the pain as we laugh, because we know this is so true with our lives. The food is right there in front of him, but the slug has neither the energy or the motivation to do it.
Another passage warning about the destructive effects of laziness is Proverbs 26:14:
“Like a door turning back and forth on its hinges, the lazy person turns over and over in bed.” (NCV)
The slug turns over and over, stuck up in bed – going nowhere. Wasting his life.
But why would people not take action? The lazy person says why not! Why take action when you can blame someone for your problems. It is much easier to sit and complain about the unfairness of live or the overwhelming frustrations of the modern world. Why take initiative in solving your problems when we have the fashionable option of blaming our parents, our spouse, our friends, our employer, our teachers, our pastors, our government or our God for our problems.
Another alternative to taking initiative is to settle into this fatalistic dream of some better future that will eventually “just happen” to us. Underlying many missed opportunities to take action is an unspoken but deeply held belief that goes something like this: “Somehow, someday, Lord willing, my life will improve. Somehow, someday day what I want will come to pass. Someday, somehow I’ll drift into more satisfying circumstances. Dreaming for a better day without initiating action for a better day is nothing but a dream. This is akin to what James said as “faith without works.” It is dead!