Read: Proverbs 5
Key Verses: Proverbs 5:7-14. “So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved. Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
Devotional: Everyone loves a good shortcut. In fact, one of my favorite moments in life is when I’m driving and an alternate route pops up on my GPS that will save me several minutes. It feels like I’m using the “bomb feature” on Zelda. We love shortcuts because they save time, they save energy and they allow us to get what or where we want more quickly and seemingly more efficiently. While shortcuts in driving can be beneficial, shortcuts in life can be hazardous. If you’re anything like me, you’re sometimes tempted to take shortcuts. We consider shortcuts at work, with family, with our integrity, in our marriages, with lots of areas. We’ve bought into this idea that we can somehow short circuit the process, albeit generally when no one is looking. We think things like:
Do we really believe these lies? Do we really think that there’s no difference? Do we really think that no one notices? Or perhaps we’ve just convinced ourselves of these false ideas because it’s easier, at least at first.
I think you and I can sometimes believe this as well. We justify our actions with statements like:
We falsely assumed that the world has already gone to pot so what’s it matter. We’ve bought into the lie of the devil that if we’re going to make it in life, we have to operate the way that “everyone” operates. While it feels like we being efficient when we take shortcuts, we’re shortcutting more than we realize. When we take shortcuts, we cheat ourselves. We cheat ourselves out of the process. It’s during the process that we learn, we grow, we mature and we develop.
Romans 5:3-4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
As we stick to the process and we refuse to cut corners we discover that God begins to use us in unprecedented ways.
2 Timothy 2:21 says, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
Don’t be satisfied with cutting corners and taking shortcuts. Put in the work, trust the process and believe that God will use you in a far more powerful than you ever imagined.
Take Action: Identify any short-cuts that you are currently taking in your life? How have those short-cuts panned out in the end? Have you ended up causing yourself more harm than good? Pray about what unintentional results have taken place because of the short-cuts you have taken in life.
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