Skip to main content

Know when to quit...

Do you have enough sense to know when to quit?  In my industry, we call this "work - life balance" - knowing when work needs to come to an end and the things in life which matter outside of work become our focus with enough energy and enthusiasm still left to actually enjoy them.  Quite a few people in your circle of influence may struggle with this "knowing when to quit" kind of thing - whether it is in the realm of a job they go off to each day, or something which distracts them equally as much in their leisure life.  Either way, if there isn't balance, we find ourselves engaged in what becomes the focal point of our lives and this can demand a very disproportionate amount of our time, energy, and heart.

Do not overwork yourself just to become wealthy; have enough sense to know when to quit. As soon as you become fixed on riches, they vanish. For suddenly they sprout wings and become like a soaring eagle flying high in the sky. (Proverbs 23:4-5 VOICE)

Notice that our passage doesn't say have enough sense TO quit - it says have enough sense to KNOW WHEN to quit.  There is a difference.  We can have enough sense TO quit - but we may be falling down from fatigue by the time we reach this point!  Knowing when to quit is a matter of heart, mind, and spirit being aligned - knowing deep down when the place we are at is the point at which we need to take a break from what we are pursuing in order to pursue things of higher value (such as time with God, those we love, and those we care about deeply).  

The focal point of our lives has a tendency to become that which gives us the most satisfaction - or at least promises to do so.  When we have the job as the focal point of our lives, we find ourselves too worn out at the end of the day to enjoy our family or even a little leisure time.  That cannot be good, right?  When we have the leisure stuff as our focal point, we might not have enough to pay the bills, going into debt beyond our ability to repay.  That also cannot be good, right?  Either way, we need to learn this art of "balancing" the two - or we will love one way too much and neglect the other.

We don't work to make ourselves wealthy.  We work to provide for the needs of our family (or our own needs, if we are single).  When God instructed man to work the fields and tend the animals, he didn't have in mind that we were to amass fortunes by doing so - neglecting all other pursuits.  In fact, when you look at what God instructs, he tells us to be sure we don't become so consumed by the pursuit of one thing we neglect everything else in life.  

As the Israelites were about to come into the Promised Land, God actually warned them to not become so consumed by the homes they would inherit without building them with their own hands, the fields they would be gathering from which they had not planted, and even to be very careful about the pursuit of the religious ways of those who dwelt in the land.  Why did he have to tell them all this?  He knew very well that increasing one's wealth brought a certain temptation to focus on that "wealth" rather than on the one who had really made the provision in their lives.  They would become "unbalanced" very quickly and drift away from keeping him central in their lives.

God doesn't oppose us gaining wealth - he opposes it becoming the primary pursuit and the thing upon which we place our trust.  He doesn't oppose us enjoying leisure time - he opposes us putting so much into the pursuit of leisure that we neglect him.  In all cases, he looks to our heart - seeking balance there - with a right focus on him, balance is maintained. Fix your attention on anything else and it will flee from you, causing you to muster even more energy and time to pursue it.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce