Monday, March 7, 2011

The Precious Possession of Diligence

Proverbs 12:27 - A lazy man does not roast his prey,
But the precious possession of a man is diligence.

I am always astonished when I read through the Proverbs. I read one nugget of wisdom after the next and never fail to find something very practical to apply to my life. The above verse is one that I used to keep posted on an index card on my refrigerator. Does that sound a little strange? This verse was a continual reminder to me to curb my wastefulness.

Most of us acquire our meat and other groceries from the local supermarket. Some hunt, grow vegetables, milk cows, etc... but mostly by choice. Food is readily available and most everyone has access to a 24 hour store or restaurant. Perhaps if we really had to work hard to grow and preserve our food we would be more careful not to waste it.

In doing a quick google search, I found that Americans throw away an average of 14% of the food they purchase. No doubt, some are more guilty than others, but if you are like the average family, and you have a grocery budget of $100 per week (a little high in my opinion, but it's nice and round), you are throwing away $728 dollars every year.

Feeling a little twinge of guilt? Years ago when I read this verse in Proverbs, I felt it. I would buy food and bring it home, but because of my lack of diligence, I would not "roast it" and it would spoil. I'm not telling you to start eating spoiled food just so you don't waste it, I'm suggesting you are careful to only purchase what your family will eat, and then eat it! Make use of leftovers. Re-make leftovers into new dishes. Freeze portions for later consumption. Use creative substitution to avoid waste. Share food with those who will eat it.

This is one of those areas where habits will not change overnight, but you can start by opening your eyes to what is happening in your household and start making little steps to do better. Talk to your children as you work on these new habits. Talk about where food comes from and who has worked to bring it to our table. Talk about being diligent and not slothful. Most importantly, talk about the importance of being good stewards with our blessings and that food is a blessing from the Lord. We are blessed with abundance and we need to be deeply thankful.

Proverbs 31:10-11 - An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

vs. 15 - She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

vs. 27 - She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

vs. 30-31 - Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

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