Athlete, Put First Things First
Proverbs 16:20 (ESV)
Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
Life is full of choices. You might even face a million today. Some might be huge. Some might seem inconsequential. Many have weight, more than we might think.
Those who choose well prosper. Those who don’t likely suffer consequence, squander opportunity, settle for second.
Proverbs 16 presents a fistful of great choices the wise make. Early decisions like these based on trusting God at His Word build terrific momentum for whatever follows. Let’s take a look and do the same. Here we go …
FILTER FIRST. Motives matter much. Examine them, not just your actions. Motives matter most to God and shape the essence of everything that follows. Our “why” really matters, not just our “what” (Proverbs 16:2).
COMMIT FIRST. Ask God for direction before you make a move or even utter a word, not just after. Getting His mind on a matter first is key. Check in early and often (Proverbs 16:3).
LET LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS WIN. The Bible says there is no atoning for sin, no long-term reconciling of relationships in life, without the presence of love and faithfulness. This pair is that crucial. If they are not permanently seated at our table, sin, guilt and shame will never take a hike (Proverbs 16:6).
FEAR OF THE LORD SPARES. A proper fear of God infuses us with courage to walk away from the lure of evil. It kills temptation. Bring this mindset into decision-making and evil becomes evident and unappetizing (Proverbs 16:6).
RIGHTEOUSNESS OVER RICHES: The greater blessing is found here. You can’t beat the feeling of being clean. It trumps everything.
Righteousness is great reward, way more than we think. Choose righteousness (Proverbs 16:8).
WISDOM OVER WEALTH: God says it’s worth more. So build wisdom equity and choose understanding over Bitcoin and bucks to solve stuff (Proverbs 16:16).
LOWLY LIFTS: Humility comes before honor. It’s not true in the dictionary, but it is true in life. Remember that! Lasting reward rises here. God sees to it (Proverbs 16:18-19; Proverbs 18:12 and 29:23).
WORK FIRST. Let hunger for the mission drive you. Be careful not to reward yourself too quickly. Deferred gratification and finishing the job is better (Proverbs 16:26).
BRING PATIENCE TO THE BATTLE. Get it to the forefront. Don’t let it make a late entry to the war. Patience beats talent (Proverbs 16:32).
BALANCE IS BETTER. Emotional balance is crucial. Place a premium on emotional control and emotional stability. A right temperament paves the path to victory.
Start with balance. Play life with balance (Proverbs 16:32).
There it is. Ten “first things.” The wise take heed. And when they do, second things won’t decrease but increase.
Reflect: Which choice might you be struggling to make? Are you committed to getting to God’s Word faithfully, getting His mind on matters every day?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great life coaching. I’m so grateful for the example I see in Jesus. Help me get to Your Word daily, make good choices each day, and excel at making first things first. I really need Your Spirit’s power. In Christ I pray. Amen..