I’ve been doing a bible study on James to dive in on what it means to be a wise woman of God. Recently, a specific chapter spoke to me because it definitely called me out on something I have been neglecting to do.
I’ll start off by saying that I’m a planner. Always have been, and I’m assuming always will be. I’m a detail oriented person and like to plan things out way ahead of time: my life, projects, trips…you name it! As the matter of fact, my full-time job at the advertising agency I work at brings this trait to full advantage.
As the digital media coordinator, I manage all of our digital projects from the creation process to delivery. This means that every piece of creative is tasked out by me and is delivered to me by deadlines that I set. Not only is my work-life filled with tasks and deadlines, but so is my personal life! My husband, Tanner, is the complete opposite of my micro-managing qualities; which is perhaps why he can frustrate me to the core. (Love him to death though). It’s true that opposites attract.
The bible says it’s good to work hard.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24
But all of my hard work and productivity comes with ME in mind. My life. My time. My money. In the midst of all of this life planning, it’s all about what I want, what I have earned…rather than constantly recognizing that nothing I have is my own.
I want a house like this, I want a job like this, I want a lifestyle like this…you name it! I’ve wanted it all! (Yes, I know I can be a bit high maintenance. Okay… a lot. 😉 )
With breaking into this adult world, where wealth and social status becomes more prominent than it was when I was in college, it’s easy to get myself caught up in desiring things of the world:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Matthew 6:24
I will say that not once in my plans do I consistently think: “if the Lord wills.” Yes, that comes up in conversation occasionally, like getting a certain job “if God willing;” but it never crosses my daily plans or comes to mind when I think of the goals I have for myself.
I’ll admit, I’m the kind of girl that gets mad when I don’t get what I want. Because more often than not, I get what I want because I work hard for it. If I want something to happen, I’ll work hard to make it happen.
As Christians, we all say, “I know what I want is not always what God wants, and my plans are not always His plans.” But seriously…that’s easier said than done!
God, what do you mean I can’t get what I want? I worked hard for it! I deserve it!
Well, the truth is I don’t deserve anything. I don’t deserve the small apartment I’m living in, the scraped up car I’m driving, or my out of date iPhone…because I more blessed than 90% of the world. Yet I’m constantly making plans to make my life better. I make a blueprint of plans for my life and convince myself that my goals are what’s best.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” – James 4:13-17
It’s time for me to put God’s will back in my plans. To let go of my selfish ambitions, the instinctive planner in me, and let God carve my path. It’s time for me to make all of my plans revolve around the Lord’s will rather than my own will. Because I know for a fact that His will and His plans are better than mine will ever be, and I just have to trust Him.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21