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A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

Thursday 28 May

Proverbs 22.3 NLT
This proverb, like so many of them, is just sheer good sense. It’s the kind of statement that could easily be turned into a good fridge magnet! At one level it is screamingly obvious, but we all know how incredibly easy it is to act the part of the simpleton and to hurtle through life blindly without doing the necessary research. We live in a world that is full of potential risks and dangers and so it is sensible to come up with careful plans. This fridge magnet approach to wisdom is really helpful, so long as we put each one alongside other wise sayings. For example, Proverbs 16.3: “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” It’s good to plan but, as we do so, we need to commit the whole process into God’s hands.

Jesus spoke about the importance of planning. He challenged people to follow him, but he didn’t want them to make this enormous step without first working out the implications of such a decision. He said, “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’” (Luke 14.28-30).

I wonder what your plans are for the next year. No doubt some of them appear to be set in stone. Perhaps your work, family, church and social commitments are firmly fixed and there doesn’t seem to be much flexibility in them. But look at them again. What changes might be happening and what challenges might you have to face? The truth is, life is always changing and, as you look at the coming months, you need to take hold of your plans and commit them to the Lord. Maybe things will flow in exactly the way you anticipate, but maybe they won’t. You need to be light on your feet and ready to adjust to the new ways in which the Lord might want to lead you.

But whatever we do, we need to make sure that we don’t act like the simpleton. We’ve done that too often in the past and we should have learnt the lesson by now.

What challenges might you face in the coming year, and how should you be preparing for them?

Father God, I confidently place my future in your hands. Amen


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