Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

live slowly Archive

Wednesday

25

October 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy

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"If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." Encouragement when you're busy. | Hope Reflected

“If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

Attributed to several sources over the years, we’ve all heard the quote, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” I most recently read it in one of Charles Stanley’s devotionals, and it stuck with me. There are several posts I’ve written about learning to live slowly,  learning moderation, and the culture of slowness. Slowing down has to be one of the hardest challenges of our lives here on earth!

Between our professional and personal lives, many of us struggle with being “busy”. The danger that lies therein is not having time for the most important things in life. When was the last time that you skipped your devotions because you were too rushed in the morning? What about not being able to properly serve at church because of “other” commitments? What about not praying because you don’t have time?

We don’t just have too much on the go; no, most of the time we just don’t have our priorities in the correct order. Tozer once said that “Anything that keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.” How do we battle “busy” and get our priorities straight? Maybe it means waking up earlier in the morning, or perhaps learning the art of saying, “No”. Both apply in my life!

We’re told in Proverbs 21:5 that “the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” To be hasty means that you’re hurried, you’re in a rush. When we’re busy, we each need to learn how to apply Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” We can’t be still if we’re rushing around being “busy”!

“If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

 

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Wednesday

15

March 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Living Slowly

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

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living slowly wednesday wisdom

“Everywhere, people are discovering that doing things more slowly often means doing them better and enjoying them more. It means living life instead of rushing through it. You can apply this to everything from food to parenting to work.” Carl Honoré

I’ve long been a fan of Carl Honoré’s insight into the slow movement; he comes at the topic from a place of practicality, and believes in the value of moving more slowly.

Where are you today? Rushing through work, sending off a series of emails, or trying to complete as many things as possible off your to-do list before the end of the day?

Time is a hot commodity and often we spend so much of our energy trying to jam as many activities into our limited time that we lose sight of the things that really matter. We even practice daylight savings time in an effort to give ourselves more daylight hours to get things done!

Wes and I were talking last night about how in some cultures, there is beauty in slowness. Life, when it’s not muddied by our modern-day “conveniences” (smart phones, internet, fast cars) becomes something that we can appreciate, and even enjoy.

Is the stress that rushing brings really worthwhile? Is pushing through a task just to complete it really better than taking the time it deserves to be done right? Does eating fast make my dinner taste better than if I actually took the time to taste it? The answer to all of these questions, is no.

“Everywhere, people are discovering that doing things more slowly often means doing them better and enjoying them more. It means living life instead of rushing through it. You can apply this to everything from food to parenting to work.” Carl Honoré

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Friday

9

December 2016

Hope Reflected: Learning How To Live ‘Less is More’

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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G.K. Chesterton quote less is more

This past weekend, Wes and I found ourselves fighting the crowds at a popular department store. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of a ga-zillion people invading my personal bubble, but there I was, in the midst of the store, trying to find a few boxes in which to put Christmas gifts. Whilst we were waiting in line at the checkout, and we observed all the people wandering around picking up random items, I thought to myself how it’s entirely possible – and probably more common than I understand – that some people can have everything, and at the same time, have nothing.

As we head into the American Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, I think the feelings of longing and emptiness are magnified. While some others seem to dread their approach, I find myself giving thanks to the Lord that I look forward to these beautiful seasons each year.

G.K. Chesterton once said, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to accumulate more, and the other is to desire less.” During our devotions last week, this quote struck both Wes and myself. How often do we look to fulfill our longings with things? To fill an empty spiritual void with relationships?

The truth is, there’s really only one way to be completely satisfied, and that’s when you have a personal relationship with our Creator and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Him, I guarantee the rest of your life will have some sort of void that no earthly “thing” can fill.

Looking at it from a Biblical perspective, there are several times throughout the Bible when we’re told of the strength of a relationship with God and His love and how powerful that is over “things”. Consider these three instances in the book of Proverbs:

  1. Proverbs 15:16 “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.” You may not have much, and as long as you have a relationship with Jesus, you don’t need much! Little is better where God is than greatness without Him.
  2. Proverbs 15:17 “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” You may not have much, but if you have God’s love in your heart and you share that with a loved one or your family, a humble dinner of herbs is better than superficial relationships and a fattened calf!
  3. Proverbs 17:1 “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices and strife.” Your house may not be as large as your neighbour’s, or as grandeous, but as long you have God’s love in your heart, you could live in a shack and still be satisfied. Some people think that taking out a million dollar mortgage will somehow bring satisfaction, but there is no satisfaction like a relationship with the Lord.

You may find yourself asking how it’s possible to “desire less” as G.K. Chesterton said. Really, it’s not that hard when you know the Lord as your Saviour. I love the unattributed quote that says, “it is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.” It’s so true. When you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you learn the values of gratitude, humility, and love.

It may not always be easy to live with an attitude of gratitude, but when I find myself unsatisfied, or thinking, “If we could just have this or be able to do this, I’d be happy,” I have to catch myself. It’s only when I take the time to purposefully count my blessings and consider all the ways the Lord is working in my life, that I truly become content, and stop longing for things that I don’t need.

My challenge to you as we enter this holiday season, is to start your own prayer journal – trust me, it will quickly turn in to a gratitude journal, and in times of discouragement, you’ll be able to look back and consider the Lord’s goodness in your own life.

Originally published as “Learning to Live ‘Less is More’.” Minto Express, Arthur Enterprise-News, Independent Plus. November 23, 2016: 5. Print.

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