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Friday, August 20, 2010

No longer frittering away life

6 The lives of God-loyal people flourish;
   a misspent life is soon bankrupt. 
9 A life frittered away disgusts God;
   he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
(Proverbs 15:6, 9)

Three concepts are presented in our passage today:  1)  God-loyal people find themselves flourishing; 2)  A life frittered away is not pleasing to God; and 3)  God's kids will do well to run toward the finish line without veering off-course.  

God-loyal people thrive because they are 'planted' well - they are in a place of balance that affords them the ability to withstand rough times when they come.  A tree that is planted well can flourish because it has all that it needs in its planting that will both sustain life and encourage growth.  As a result, the tree is able to be in a state of constant production.  God-loyal people are in a state of constant production, as well.  Their lives are filled with meaningful activities, not just the pursuit of active movement.  They are able to enjoy the fruits of their activity because it is productive and meaningful.

A life 'frittered away' is indeed a wasteful thing.  A fool spends what he has been entrusted with bit by bit, never aware of how much he has spent or where he has spent what he has been entrusted with.  I wonder how many untold minutes or presented opportunities we have 'frittered away' in our lives with meaningless activities.  A fool has not sense of the benefits of engaging in meaningful / purposeful pursuits, let alone a sense of the urgency of the hour in which they live.  Don't get me wrong here - I am not against leisure pursuits.  We need balance in our lives.  That is the key - balancing our leisure and our purposeful pursuits so that we are not 'frittering away' things, time, or talents that God desires to use.

That which dwindles away is most often unnoticed as it dwindles - until it is gone, it is never missed.  Loss can be a long time in the making - we may not realize that we are in a state of 'decay' until there is an 'odor' that emanates from the decay!

We have previously explored what it means to 'run straight' - a course that is both rewarding and challenging at the same time.  Productive, active, unhesitating movement with God is desirable, but is often more difficult than it appears.  Try drawing a straight line without a straight edge to guide you and you will find it difficult.  You can get VERY close, but it still will not be a "crisp" and "exact" as when the straight edge was used.  The Holy Spirit is our "straight edge" as we walk with God.  He assists us in 'running straight'.  

God loves the loyal and rewards those that walk straight!  Our ability to remain loyal and to walk straight both come from God - they are provided in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  He is our guide, our teacher, our companion, and our corrector of course, when needed.  It is with his help that we learn to be productive in God's kingdom, tending less and less to fritter away what God has blessed us with.  It is because we are planted and tended by him that we flourish.