Today's Insight from Chuck Swindoll

Having established that humanity bears the image of God and possesses the ability to make decisions, establish plans, and then alter our environment to accomplish our goals, Solomon turned to nature for a much-needed object lesson. He took us on a field trip to an anthill to discover some truths about motivation and diligence:

Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
Prepares her food in the summer

And gathers her provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest.” (6:6–10)

Ouch! Solomon instructed us—giants in comparison to these tiny, six-legged creatures—to bend down and to learn from the ant’s ways. And what lessons they have to teach! These miniature pedagogues model several valuable principles:

  • Ants work for the survival of the colony, a compelling motivation.
  • Ants know what to do; they don’t need a superintendent prodding them.
  • Ants get the essentials done first so they can relax later.
  • Ants work without fanfare or applause.

Individual ants know their duty, and their motivation is clear: survival. This keeps them at their tasks despite the lack of short-term rewards. Solomon warned that if we don’t become at least as wise as an ant, “poverty will come in like a vagabond, and . . . need like an armed man” (6:11). Procrastinators, however, do not truly believe that any consequences will apply to them.

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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