We've all heard the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". I believe it's a true statement and one that will serve us well if we will apply it. Sometimes that's the hard part - applying it. How do we do that?
Before I get into that, let me ask you a question. How many different kinds of animals did Moses bring in to the ark? Give up? The answer is - none! Moses was not on the ark, Noah was. Some people will catch that right away. Most of us will immediately focus in on the numbers part of the question and not really hear the whole question. We need to BE AWARE of the big picture, taking in all of the available information. This is an important part of "an ounce of prevention". It's tough to prevent what you don't notice.
Have you ever heard of a concept called "The Accident Chain"? It's the chain of events that lead up to an accident. The idea is, that if you can remove just one link of the chain, you can prevent the accident from happening. For example:
What if you notice your car wanting to pull to the right as you drive down the road. But you just keep driving it and don't check anything because you are too busy. Your right front tire is low on air and eventually it overheats and blows out, sending you into the ditch, and causing some major damage. What are some "links" that could be removed from this accident chain? You could check the tire pressure and add air to it. Get the tire repaired or replaced. Or, just don't drive it at all. Any one of these choices could have prevented the accident. But we must be AWARE of the big picture and notice what's going on in order to be able to do something about it. An ounce of prevention………
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about prevention. Let's look at a few of these so we can see why this is so important. It may seem as if I'm bouncing around here, but I will tie all this together later.
Proverbs 22:3 - A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (This states what i've already said; being aware; the prevention of trouble.)
Proverbs 21:20 - There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up. (The most valuable commodity on earth is our time. So let's consider our time as a treasure.)
Proverbs 29:3 - Whoso loves wisdom rejoices his father: but he that keeps company with harlots spends his substance. (The word 'substance' means wealth, enough, riches. It's from a root word meaning ability, power, goods, strength.)
Proverbs chapter 7 talks about a foolish young man getting involved with a harlot, or whore. The harlot can also represent the world. When we 'keep company' (spend our time) with the trash of the world, we are being adulterers to God. It will literally draw the life out of us.
To summarize these things: We need to foresee the problems that could arise so we don't spend our treasure (our time), and our substance (our wealth, ability, power, goods and strength) on harlots. Harlots are those things that steal our time and substance.
What are some of the harlots in our world today? I will discuss a few, but I'm sure you can think of others that apply to your life.
One of them is entertainment. Movies that have all kinds of things in them that are contrary to the Word of God, as well as TV, radio books or any other media. I'm not saying you can't do something fun once in a while, but we need to watch (be aware of) WHAT it is and HOW MUCH we do it.
Consider the word 'amuse'. It means entertain, divert, busy, distract, absorb, engross. The word 'muse' means to be absorbed in thought, a period of reflection. The difference is the letter 'a' in front of muse. It makes 'muse' into a word that means the opposite of being absorbed in thought or a period of reflection. Just as in symmetrical and asymmetrical. Why does this matter? Because when you are being amused (movies, TV etc.) you are not thinking about things that are important to you and will have a big impact on your life. Instead, you are being fed what ever trash is being pumped out toward you. In other words, you are not thinking for yourself, but letting someone else tell you what to think. It's very important to spend quiet time alone in God's word to get your thoughts established on solid ground. You will not get that from Hollywood my friend!
Again, I understand that we all need to relax and have fun once in a while. Everyone needs a break from time to time. But it has become the main goal in life for many people. Even the 'retirement' message is based on nothing but "recreation for the rest of your life". In other words, 'A-musing' yourself until you finally die. What a sorry waste of the rest of your life! All of a persons experience and knowledge not being put to use, shared or passed down to the next generation. Very sad. By the way, try to find where in the Bible it talks about retirement. It's not in there, because God never meant for you to just give up and fade away. You may not do the same work all your life, but you can start something new that you would like to do for the rest of your life. Kind of exciting, isn't it?
Remember: God said - Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord….. Not "30 years shall you work and then retire".
If you are spending all your time (your treasure) on x-box, other video games, texting, Facebook, TV, playing cards, etc., etc., then you might want to re-evaluate your time usage. Take an inventory of how much time you spend on worthless activities. Then compare that to how much time you spend in the Word.
God is telling us if we will hear….. Get your life in order now. The longer we wait, the harder it will be. And the farther we will fall behind. We survive, even thrive, when we are prepared. Our trust must be in the Lord. Not the government, TV, or mindless entertainment. Don't stick your head in the sand. Be aware. Use the available information.
The Bible is very applicable to today's situations. There's nothing new under the sun.
Have fun once in a while. But try to do less 'amusing' and more 'musing'. We will be better able to foresee the evil, and to prepare and protect ourselves. It's tough to be a blessing to others if you have spent all your substance on harlots. Let's all try to have higher standards. To live as God calls us to live.
Laugh, have fun, enjoy life. So even though this is a serious message, you shouldn't be bummed out. Because now you know how to "prevent", so you won't have to "cure"!