Doing What Needs to Be Done
June 06, 2007
No one likes to "eat crow," grovel, or admit that they were wrong enough to get into a predicament from which they need help extricating themselves. It sears one's pride and devastates one's self-esteem and the quicker we get it done, the better.
Sometimes the choice is between swallowing one's pride and going broke.
Swallowing pride is uncomfortable. Being broke is much worse.
The teacher in Proverbs 6:1-5 hits the nail on the head:
" My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 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."
Here is the scenario. The son has made promises he can't keep, albeit in good faith, by cosigning on someone else's loan. That person might have been a friend he trusted or a stranger who "took him in." either way, he is now seeing the error of his ways and the danger signs ahead.
Solomon wisely counsels him, "Grovel!"
Go now and eat crow. Do it fast; do it with all your energy. GET OUT OF THAT DEAL!
No one wants to hear this. Part of us would rather go under than bow down. We would rather bluff our way through life than humble ourselves and do what is best for ourselves and what is right by God and man.
Pride will hurt you, my friend. It will hurt you in the wallet and it will hurt you in the heart.
This is a practical reminder from the Proverbs that we are not always right and when we are wrong, the most prudent thing to do is admit it and repair the damage as quickly as possible.
Would you rather be right or rich?
How to get Ahead
Ants have always been a source of fascination for me. Their collective intelligence and capacity for production is amazing. I used to tread water on the deep end of our swimming pool and observe them move in and out from the cracks with a precision and organization that could not be explained by the presence of a "queen" buried in there somewhere.
Essentially, their work is unsupervised, without instructions, and self-motivated by something intrinsic to their nature.
They get it done and they get far enough ahead to be self-sufficient as a community.
You never see a frustrated or worried ant.
In fact, if you divert him from his immediate mission, he seems to carry on his larger mission by simply finding another task and doing it.
There is so much to learn from ants. thus, Solomon said in Proverbs 6:2-8:
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. "
This teaching is placed in the Proverbs as a counter to laziness. If industry and self-starting are keys to getting ahead, laziness is an expressway to getting behind.
Solomon writes to the sluggard with the hope that, by observing someone getting it done, he will get with it himself and be motivated.
It is easy to self-motivate when we see the results stacking up minute-by-minute, hourly, or even daily. it can be tougher if it takes longer to see progress. in that case, we must learn to visualize it and measure it differently.
However we inform our psyches of the benefits of steady, hard, conscientious work, be assured of this, it is worth the effort.
If you want to get ahead, you must work at it and you must motivate yourself to do so.
How to Get Behind
If there is a sure-fire expressway to getting ahead, there is a steep slide to getting behind. Just do nothing. Stay in bed. Roll over for another hour. Be late for work. Miss appointments. Be unreliable. Do sloppy work. Complain a lot. Grumble when you are assigned a task. Move slowly. Frown. Just be lazy.
Solomon understood this and spoke of it in Proverbs 6:9-11:
"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 travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
Why does he call it a little sleep and a little slumber? Because that is what we call it when we rest excessively. Everyone needs sleep. God designed us so that we require down time. However, the sluggard wants a little more and a little more and a little more.
He never gets caught up.
He is extremely successful at failure and, while he may feel or confess to be miserable, he is unwilling to do anything to change that state.
It takes effort to get out of bed. It takes an inner drive and a shock to the system to wake up and do what needs to be done. it may even be painful for you.
What you have to ask yourself is, "What is the greater pain, getting up or being broke?"
It is really all up to you.
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