When I was growing up (or at least when I was a teenager), “sleeping in” until 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. was common for me on Saturdays. This was not a habit I had an easy time breaking, and the belief that it was my right caused strife in the early days of my marriage. This past Saturday, while reading the Word of God and in Proverbs 6, where it speaks of “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep,” I was reminded of an off-hand remark by a mom on a blog whose teenage son slept until noon. Are we training our children to follow the world’s ways or God’s ways?
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)
Are we being “doers of the Word” or hearers only?
Does it matter how late you go to bed and get up?
The world says: a teenager stays up late and sleeps in until they want to get up on weekends.
The Bible says:
“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth, and thy want as an armed man.”
What about money? What about co-signing, debt, the lottery and casinos?
The world says: Have your parents co-sign for you (the Bible calls it surety), everyone gets in debt, there’s no way to buy a house unless you do…
The Bible says:
“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the word of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself…Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.”
Proverbs 6:1-3a, 4-5
The world says: Have a little fun, buy a lottery ticket, buy raffle tickets, go to the casino (they have the best buffets) and put a few coins in the machines while you’re there–what’s the harm…
The Bible says:
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
1 Timothy 6:9-10
“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
1 Thessalonians 5:22
In very subtle ways Satan seeks to deceive us. Our getting off course may be just in our schedule. Seeking our own pleasure, allowing our flesh to decide things rather than our spirit in response to the Word of God, letting up a little, not being so “intense,” relaxing the standards we once had. And the little foxes eat the vines, and ruin our fruit, while we are thinking, “This is a little thing–what does it matter?”
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”
Song of Solomon 2:15
Everything matters. We must be faithful in the little things. Those small choices–concessions–compromises–determine whether our ship stays on course and reaches its destination, or eventually ends up out to sea and lost.
I have tightened up where I had slacked off, and I am pulling my ship back on course. One way I’m doing this is by making a new schedule (I’ll show you that later this week). I’ve confessed sin, and owned up to some ways I have not been being a “doer of the Word.”
Will you, with me, look at your life and see if there are places where the fences need to be mended, where you need to turn and straighten the course of your ship, set your face like flint, get back on track and be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only?
I am doing this. Will you let me know you are with me on this?
If you liked this, subscribe by email (just enter your email and click “subscribe me”) or subscribe in a reader (click that cute heart) and don’t miss a single post. Please also join, and tell your friends about Faith’s Firm Foundation! Go to the sidebar at the top now to subscribe–it’s easy!