Monday, May 2, 2011
Over and over again the Bible tells us to consider the cost. It's important to think ahead and know what you are getting yourself into, but there is a real difference between thinking ahead and counting your chickens before they hatch--or what we affectionately call in our house "pulling a James 4". Allow me to explain.
As Christians, we should think before we act. We should plan ahead and consider the cost and possible outcomes of our actions before we just jump into things (Luke 14:28-32). This is considered a matter of good practice and when we don't think ahead we are considered foolish. I have said it before and I will say it again--anything taken to the extreme is bad. Basically the way that I see it is that "counting your chickens before they hatch" or "pulling a James 4" is taking planning ahead to the extreme.
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:13 & 14
I don't think that the planning in and of itself was what was bad. It was the attitude behind it. James warns these individuals that they don't know what their lives hold. Then he points out the real problem--these people have taken God out of the planning!
"Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil." James 4: 15 & 16
When you take God out of the planning and out of the equation you begin to rely solely on yourself. Verse 16 goes so far as to call it evil. Are you asking God what He has planned for your life or are you planning it all out for yourself? Are you assuming that you know what's best or are you relying on God to direct your paths? Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Go to God and make Him the active leader in planning for your life.