Proverbs 21:13 – If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered
There is an old saying: “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” I’m sure you’ve heard it said on more than one occasion. However, it begs the question: Where is this found in the Word of God? Turns out it’s difficult to locate because it simply is not there! But what is there, oft repeated though phrased in a myriad of ways, is this: The Lord helps those who help others! It’s an all-American, John Wayne, hard-working, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, one-woman show that embraces an ideology of self-help. Yet as Christians, are we safe to simply accept such ideas and ideals as God’s own? Or do we need to, in prayer, check our beliefs per the Word of God? If the Lord says that I best help myself by helping others, then I need to be all about helping as many as I can as often as I can. The thought of the Lord’s ears being shut to my cries in the way I have so often shut my eyes and ears to the needs of others is both frightening and convicting. And may the Lord, in His infinite mercy, bring me to a point of such great love for my fellow man that I help always and in all ways as an outflow of a grateful heart…giving no thought to what I may receive as a result.
Proverbs 15:19 – A lazy person’s way is blocked with briars, but the path of the upright is an open highway.
Are there people in my life who, when giving an honest opinion, might consider me to be a lazy person? I’m betting so…and if no one would say that of me, I would probably say it of myself! We are living in a social medial laden culture wherein “scrolling” is now considered an activity. Think back 25 or more years – can you imagine how bizarre it would have been to see someone doing what we now do all day, every day, with our phones? It’s a tremendously strange societal shift that happened so quickly, it should frighten us a little bit. My point is that we are living in a “lazy” era, and it only seems to be getting worse. But this verse states clearly that the lazy person’s way is blocked with briars. Briars are hideous and thorny and seemingly impossible to navigate. If you try and mow down a briar patch, the thorns remain and will still hinder you when you navigate that terrain in the future. You can burn them, but even then some of the briar stalks can remain for years. No one wants to deal with a mess of briars; it’s far easier to just avoid the entire mess in the first place. Listen, none of us wants to fight our way through life, right? And we don’t want to be all tangled up in nasty, prickly briars, do we? Let me challenge you to keep your focus on the Lord, to seek His will for your life on a daily basis, and then be about doing what He asks you to do. Don’t be lazy! And also, can’t we all just put our silly phones down more often? We’re trading our actual lives to become lazy “scrollers” who end up stuck in the briar patch, and that just makes no sense. Live for the Lord and His Kingdom today & be sure to pray for freedom from our culture’s social media obsession.
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