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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of November 23, 2015

Be willing to let your schedule be altered if knowing God better requires it.

How can you know God better? Read his word, pray, listen for his voice, worship him. Notice that all of these things require time. In fact, improving any relationship with other people or with God requires time.

However, far too many people find themselves too busy to spend any time getting to know God better. They've filled their calendar with pursuits of money, wealth, success, and status. However, as Solomon discovers in Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, all of these pursuits are meaningless. Solomon built many houses, vineyards, gardens, and parks; he had many, many slaves and countless pieces of gold and silver, and he was the most prestigious man ever to live in Jerusalem. Indeed, he could buy anything his heart desired. However, Solomon comes to the realization that all of these things are worth nothing in the perspective of eternity: Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

Therefore, don't worry about any of these earthly things; instead, seek to know God better (see Matthew 6:25-34).

This poem is a good reminder of what's really important in life.

I had always been taught
to ask God for what I needed
and that he would give me
whatever I ask for in his name.

So, I asked God for
prosperity, power, popularity,
good grades, safety, success,
good friends, health, and wealth.

In all these things,
I asked God for more of what I wanted,
but he gave me more of what I needed:

If all these earthly things are hindering your relationship with God, alter your schedule: get rid of some things so that you can spend time knowing God better.

Have you learned to take a long-term look at your short-term problems?

Whenever something frustrating happens, don't immediately become upset. Instead, ask yourself if this problem is really worth getting aggravated over: is this a five minute problem, a five hour problem, a five month problem, or a five year problem?

For example, if you can't find where around your house you left your car keys, don't let that steal your love, joy, peace, or patience. Being five minutes late to most things is not worth losing your joy. Similarly, if you're stuck in a traffic jam, don't let that ruin your Fruit of the Spirit. It's not worth getting upset and uptight about a ten minute delay on your way to work. Indeed, ten minutes is nothing compared to all of eternity.

Also, remember that God may be using your short-term problem for a long-term purpose. That's why James 1:2-4 says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. God will work through your current trials and difficulties in order to produce lasting benefits such as faith, perseverance, and spiritual maturity. That's why it's important to take a long-term look at your short-term problems.

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