Remember, it is never to late to change

Published 7:05 pm Friday, December 28, 2007

By Staff
New Year's resolutions may have lost their impact long ago, but the prospect of a new year is a good time to pause, evaluate, and possibly adjust for the future.
Maybe life and times have taken their toll, and it seems the hole we are in is just getting deeper.
There is a God, He is in control, He knows our needs, and has arranged for our care, but possibly we have missed it.
In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, chapter 13, verse 23, we read, "Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment." God's provision is available, but we must have eyes to see, ears to hear, and proper application of truth to succeed.
The phrase "for want of judgment" speaks to our lack. The book of Proverbs is filled with admonitions for us to start where we are, use what we have, and do what we can. Proverbs, chapter 12, verse 11, says, "He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread."
Tilling or plowing may not yield immediate results, but it is the practice of care and preparation that brings in the crop. Proverbs 20, verse 13, stirs us with, "Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread."
The lazy man turns on his bed like a door on its hinges (Proverbs 26:14).
Our lives can become like the field of the lazy man described in Proverbs 24, verses 30-34. The field was neglected. It was overgrown. The protecting wall was broken down. The result was a mess that could not be productive without much work.
The observer of the field of the lazy man concluded, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest …" (Proverbs 24:33).
As easily as things slip away, they can be regained with proper attention. The problem is that we look at the current state of things in our lives and conclude it is out of control and there is no hope. That is not true. Most of us do not live in agricultural settings the Bible speaks of, but the principles apply. God has put principles in place that, when adhered to, will bring success.
Diligence is the key. We can always be diligent. When Joseph was put in prison in Egypt, he applied himself to the situation he was in and prospered (Genesis 39:20-22).
Proverbs 12, verse 27, states, "diligence is man's precious possession." Proverbs 12, verse 24, says, "The hand of the diligent will rule." Proverbs 13, verse 4, states, "the soul of the diligent shall be made rich." Diligence can and will lift us in our circumstances.
There are always lions in the street (Proverbs 26:13). Laziness will keep us in the house; diligence will find a way to do what needs to be done in spite of the lions.
We must not wish for the quick and easy way. We may be waiting for our ship to come in, but Proverbs 23, verse 5, tells us, "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven."
An inheritance may be our hope, but Proverbs 20, verse 21, states, "An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end."
Quick and easy money may lift us temporarily, but until we become diligent with all that we have and all that we do, we will stay in the quagmire.
We must acknowledge God as the source of all. We must see ourselves as stewards and apply ourselves with diligence. We must learn to be givers. God promises in Proverbs 19, verse 17, "He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given."
It is by "little and little" that we succeed. There is no better time to start than now!