I had this picture come to mind a few days ago and perhaps it will help you as it has helped me.
In the picture I am in very deep water with an inflatable life ring around me. I also have a pin with which I repeatedly poke holes in the lifesaving device.
WHAT?! You say, “How dumb is that?” That was my reaction.
I believe this is a picture of the way I make choices that work against my greater goals, priorities and purposes. Little things that seem inconsequential at the time. What’s a little hole? But the reality is a little hole over time, and surely multiple little holes, will sabotage reaching the goals I am pursuing or the priorities I claim to have.
Here’s an example that I hope brings clarity.
Let’s say I have a problem with overspending and I come under conviction about it. I confess and repent and decide I am going to live on a closely-watched budget. I put in time and effort to record everything and plan out my month’s spending. But then Sunday morning comes along and there are all those ad flyers in the newspaper – I love to look at the sales so what’s the big deal? I’m just looking, I’m not actually spending any money. (It’s just a little hole) so I look through the ads and guess what? I see a beautiful scarf that I just love. It would go really well with an outfit I have and it’s only $15. I reason it’s a great deal since it is 50% off. So I head off to the mall to make this purchase because it’s only $15 – (it’s just a little hole). While I’m at the store I notice my favorite store is having a huge sale. I reason that if I don’t buy clothes now while they are on sale, I’m going to end up paying full price later. That doesn’t make sense. So I buy a few key items. But only a few (it’s just a little hole). By the time the 31st of the month arrives I realize I didn’t actually stay on my budget, not because I went out and bought a new car (a big hole) but I made several little purchases that were not budgeted for. Each decision in and of itself is not necessarily wrong but we often fail to ask ourselves whether this choice will help us achieve our goals or whether this choice works against our goals.
Let’s consider our life priorities. We may say that our highest priority is our relationship with God but do we make choices on a daily basis that support that priority? Are we spending time in the Word and in prayer? Do we spend time meditating and memorizing God’s Word? Do we listen to good Bible teaching and study the Scriptures? Are we preaching the Gospel to ourselves daily and striving to obey? Or are we watching TV, reading romance novels and keeping super busy instead? (little holes)
So what is that pin in your life? What choices do you make that work against your priorities and goals? In what ways are you sabotaging your own goals and purposes?
Food for thought today.
After serving 16 years full-time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane Hunt and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part-time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.