A Wise Heart Proverbs 23.15
My Friend had a note to himself on the door to his shop, " Work harder" At the time he was managing a business that, at the time, had a potential of growing to annual income of 6 digits. How could he be saying to himself to work harder? I am not sure of all of the implications to the motto. I think that most of it was to be an example to his sons. To be faithful to his family. Even though the shop was grossing more than just a few hundred some days, and most of the time by noon, some thing of the work ethic was in moral fiber of my friend.
Mean while I had had returned to the U.S.A. From the slow lane, in a foreign country, like living back in time, spending most of the week in a small village of a few hundred people. Getting out a few days a week and doing 40 mph out on the four lane highway seemed just fine to me. Now I was trying to make a go of it, make ends meet, and earn an honest living. For me, $20 an hour, in the construction sites seemed like plenty, but we were having trouble making ends meet, and we were not even paying rent! Marianne started working part time, and that was humbling. We had always done well with my wages from the woods. I had very little understanding of the seismic shift that was coming to our economy. I found myself working Saturdays. I even stayed home from church a couple Sunday's to be able to get a few things done around our home, which at that time was only 2 travel trailers.
The Lord had spoken to me years in advance a word that I needed and still need as I just turned 50 this year.
" Work smarter, not harder." For those who know me, hard work has never been a stranger to me. But wisdom in business management has always been something that I could use more of.
This fall another word came to me from Proverbs 23:15
My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; NIV
At first I took this to be some guidance in praying for my sons, for them to have wisdom, and for me to blessed with joy in seeing them succeed and enjoy the abundant life they have been promised in Christ. Today, after meditating on this and digesting the context, I can hear our Lord saying to me, " work smarter today, not harder, and my heart with rejoice over you, with singing!"
This summer I was in a real struggle to keep it together, mentally and emotionally. I was determined to work hard at paying down our debt. We are doing great in a few areas, and have never had struggles with a few of our accounts. By Gods grace we have never been late or behind on any payments. We have paid down certain loans, but one credit card keeps running up there. In July, we took on a few new cleaning contracts with our cleaning business. I had promised Marianne that I would quit working in the day, and only concentrate on the cleaning hours , so she would not have to work so much. Well, it did not happen. I worked my self to a frazzle, and debt did not go down. $30 an hour work kept coming in and I chose, not to say "no" except to a few really good big projects.
I have called it, " burning the candle at both ends." Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that he and his team worked night and day to not be a burden to the body there.1 This is a great example of " spending and being spent"2 for the sake of others being served in love and for the increase of faith in the hearts of Christs disciples, true?
May we each be led, as we know we are capable of doing, to serve one another with a pure heart. A mind that is protected by the peace that passes all understanding can be had for each of us, "today"; if we will give everything over to Our Father in Prayer. Look to see what he hands back to you on the to do list for today, and do not worry about the rest, ok? The following thoughts are describing more of what I have learned in the last couple months. May they be food for your soul. :) If there be anything note worthy of what Christ has wrought in me, all glory to him! G.W.
A Tender Heart An entry to my Face book wall, November 26th 2011
Well, lately I have had a troubled heart. For a week, I was so stressed I did not feel safe driving. Yea, Greg, me having fears of being hit, or not able to concentrate enough so much that I was concerned that I might hit some one. I did hit a power pole and take my mirror off. AND locked the keys in my van 2X. Oh, well, its past and I am walking more humble than ever. Did you see the movie "Brave Heart"? Cool. What about all the broken hearts out there, anyone ever see one? I see them almost every day. Had one myself a time or two. The following is an excerpt from lesson 24 in the BLBible Institute course. I am learning from about 15 other teachers, some maturity and stability that I need in my own walk. A Tender Heart is what Jesus had3, and still has. I pass this on in hopes that it might encourage a few of my face book friends, and perhaps a family member or two also:
...maybe you have been betrayed by someone who you thought was a friend or a loved one. That hurts so deeply. Perhaps someone has undermined you, lied about you, or stabbed you in the back, who you thought was a strong supporter. Now, I am sure it has happened to most of us to one degree or another. If it has not, it will. It is just one of those guaranteed things.
But the question is: how do I react? How do I respond when I have been hurt, betrayed, or attacked? That is when it is the hardest to love. Do I harden my heart? I have been hurt so I want to harden my heart. Or do I become calloused and negative? If so, then God’s love is choked out. Do I become bitter, close my heart, or hold on to ill feelings? It is easy to do that, isn’t it? It is very natural, but it is not supernatural.
Jesus said, “As I have loved you, even so, love one another” (John 13:34). It is not a natural love. It is a supernatural love. If we become bitter, if we harden ourselves, if we get callused or cynical, even as pastors, then God’s love is choked out. It cannot flow. So the Lord wants me to run to Him. Only with His love can my heart be strong and yet tender at the same time. How do you keep a tender heart in this world? It is really easy to see how people get hardened in this world and how people get cynical or closed off. But with Christ, we cannot afford to do that because He has called us to love. We can keep a tender heart and yet be strong through the power of His love as He heals us.
Servant Leadership – Lesson 24 The Supremacy of Love by Wayne Taylor
1For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. - 1 Thessalonians 2:9 KJV
2And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. - 2 Corinthians 12:15 KJV
3 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29