The Proverbs 31:16 Test

Is your calendar too full?
Has the back to school schedule turned into chaos?
Are the events piling up on your calendar?
When do you say yes to a good thing?
How do you do it all?

During the long days of summer, we long for schedules again. They’re comforting boundaries, those schedules. We put tabs on our planners, fill up all those little squares and if you’re like me, you add in hi-lights. We use our calendar planning apps to keep track of everything. Sounds great, right? Until the calendar is bossing us around and we don’t have time to breathe. Then we are stressed and frustrated. Our health begins to suffer. We lose things. We can’t remember why we walked in the room.

So, what do we do? How do we manage? Maybe you haven’t filled your calendar up yet and you still have time to do the Proverbs 31:16 test.

16 She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.

The Proverbs 31 woman always seemed like an over achiever to me until I saw this lesson tucked in this verse. Joyce Meyer briefly touched on this verse on her podcast. I just couldn’t get this verse out of my mind after listening. I thought about while I vacuumed the pool, did the dishes and walked to a friend’s this evening. What I learned was just mind blowing.

When Life Gets BusyHow do you choose what to do_.png

  1. She considers a field before she buys it. She thinks about it. Gone is the myth that this perfect lady is out snatching up the real estate. No impulse buying here. I’m trying this on that item I really want to order on Wayfair because it is 80% off. I’ve thought about it all day instead of just clicking that button.
  2. She’s prudent. She is making her decision based on caring about what happens in the future. Like will this new vineyard max out my credit card? Do I have enough time and energy to care for this new thing? What will it mean to me ten years from now? Will adding this to my schedule hurt or help in the long run?
  3. She doesn’t court neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties. WOW! Why did I not see this before? Why wasn’t it written on a giant sign or at least a t-shirt every single time I volunteered to do something. Like, if you can’t manage what’s already on your plate, don’t ask for more. That’s what we do though, isn’t it. We complain that our schedules are full and then what comes out of our mouth? Sure, I’ll make those cupcakes. Yes, I’ll teach that class. It’s no problem, I can do that all semester. Yikes! Guilty. Then we can’t manage everything. We court neglect of our present duties. In other words, we can’t do what we are already responsible for. We just keep piling it on.
  4. With her savings of time and strength, she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. When the Proverbs 31 woman says no because she can’t add anything more, she saves time and strength. What does she do with that? Invests it in what she already has.

I am guilty of piling things on, how about you? If I have a spare minute, I think I have to fill it or my life isn’t meaningful, which I know is not true. It’s the busyness lie. If you are busy, you are doing something worthwhile. The truth is, if you are busy in the purpose God has for you, you won’t feel overwhelmed and stressed all the time. You’ll have peace in your purpose. So, before your calendar fills up too much this autumn, join me in taking the Proverbs 31:16 test.

  1. Consider it.
  2. Be prudent.
  3. Don’t neglect your present duties to add a new one.
  4. Use the time and energy you save and invest in what you already have on your plate.

 

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