My dad always told me growing up that if I always told the truth, I wouldn’t have to try to remember what I said. When we start lying, it becomes more and more difficult to track what we said and to whom. I know it is cliché, but honesty is the best policy. Sometimes, when we are faced with a choice between the truth and a lie, it is going to cost us money. We need to decide what is more important: our reputation or the mighty dollar.
Proverbs 28:6: “Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.”
I think most of us would agree that we are people-pleasers. We want people to like us. We have “friends” on Facebook-most of whom we don’t talk to regularly. We have “followers” on Twitter and Instagram-but don’t engage with them often. We would much rather avoid difficult conversations, so we play nice with everyone. Some of my best friends are the ones who pull me aside and say, “Scott, I love you, but…” They tell me the hard truths. And they do so out of love, not hate.
Proverbs 27:6: “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
Who do you need to “wound” today? Do so in love and grace. Who can you be a better friend to today? Don’t wait.
I love a good firepit. I’m so excited for the weather to be warming up so we can sit around the fire and talk, laugh, and connect. One year, I got the firepit all cleaned up, got the marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers ready, and then went to start up the fire, and we didn’t have any wood! So, no fire. Whenever I hear someone start to gossip about another person, I either change the subject or walk away. Gossip is cancer to a relationship.
Proverbs 26:20: “Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.”
What conversations with others do you need to shut down? What are you murmuring or whispering about that isn’t building others up but tearing them down? Stop it.
I do not like to be criticized. Most people don’t. I often take it personally and respond by either digging in my heels or retreating to the basement. However, if the criticism is valid, after I have responded poorly, the Lord often convicts me, and I end up apologizing. I need to be better at receiving valid criticism in the moment.
Proverbs 25:12: “To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.”
How do you respond to criticism? Who has authority in your life to bring issues of concern to you directly? Are you approachable?
If there was ever anyone in the history of the world who loved sleep, it would be me. Ever since I was in high school, I could fall asleep anywhere and anytime. When I got out of the military, I was told I would have a lot of trouble sleeping in because my body was conditioned to waking up at 4:30 or 5 everyday. Nope. I slept till 8 the first day.
Now that most of us are working from home, it would be easy to sleep all the time. And while I think rest is important, and we should definitely be taking more naps, this isn’t the time to get lazy.
Proverbs 24:33-34: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”
How are you adjusting your routines to still work hard while getting rest? Are you finding yourself becoming a sluggard? There is still a lot to do, let’s get at it!
I had a boss when I was in the Air Force that outlined his priorities as: Faith, Family, Force, and Fitness. I have tried to follow these over the years. This strange time we live in is allowing us the space to define our priorities as well. What have you noticed over the past several weeks about your priorities? How are you adjusting life to focus on what really matters?
Proverbs 23:4-5: “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.”
We have seen a lot of wealth disappear in the past few weeks. I hope that we can see what really matters.