July 16, 2024

Squandering God’s Gifts

Proverbs 6:6-11

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?

—  Proverbs 6:9

Years ago, when we lived in Taiwan, we awoke one morning to find a column of ants marching across our house, from one end to the other. Ants are truly amazing. They seem so driven, directed, and industrious. In fact, Proverbs describes them here as a model of organization and industry and as a spur against laziness.

This passage does not suggest that we must always be busy or that rest is unimportant. For human beings, both rest and work together reveal our identity as imagebearers of Creator God. As such, we have an innate desire—even need—to create flourishing.

What might that mean? Flourishing results from seeking to serve and honor God in all we do. In all our work, hobbies, rest, recreation, and more, we can nurture and be nurtured by life in this world God has made—whether we are cooks, programmers, builders, medical workers, gardeners, maintenance workers, artists, teachers, drivers, farmers, and more. But if we squander our time and talents, we deny who we are and waste opportunities to serve God and others.

All of our daily work, at home and in the world, will not resemble ants marching in line. We are not ants. We are imagebearers of God, and the work and service we do will be creative and purposeful, punctuated by sabbath rest and refreshment, bringing glory to God and joy to creation.

Lord, help us to use all of the gifts and talents you have given us to bring you glory and to bless others. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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