Today's chapter is called A Buyer
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Focus Verse: She looks over a field and buys it. (Proverbs 31:16a, The Message)
Judging from the title of this chapter, it was written for a shop-a-holic like me! In the first paragraph, Sarah states that a wife of noble character loves to shop...but the message of Proverbs 31 is to be wise with what you buy and your investments. Oh boy. This one might be a tough one for me!
First, you have to be wise with your money, especially when making a big purchase. As Sarah writes, if you were to spend thousands or even millions of dollars purchasing property, you would prepare beforehand. You would research the property and have an expert evaluate it as well before spending your hard-earned money. You would make sure that you're as prepared as possible before investing your money in something.
Second, you have to be wise with your investment of time. Sarah aptly puts it this way:
It is wisdom to think highly of your time. The people you give your time to each day are an investment. So the question is, are you investing in people who will bring you a good return or not? Is the person with whom you spend most of your day going to bring you a good return?Sarah and I both spend the majority of our time with our husbands, and we both definitely feel that those relationships bring us a good return! =)
She also points out that you need to make sure that friendships are a good investment of your time. If a relationship is toxic, causes you to behave badly, or just plain wears you out, then it's time to invest elsewhere.
Third, you have to invest in your dreams. If you don't have any dreams, take some time to brainstorm and write down a few. Do it now! I'll wait...
[Cue elevator music here]
Okay, you should have some dreams now! In this area, you should view every experience you have as something that can help propel you towards your dreams. For example, Sarah worked in a part-time retail job selling jeans. While she didn't have any interest in making that her lifelong career, she was determined to learn from the work experience and use those lessons to help her achieve her dreams. So, even if you're not necessarily where you want to be in certain areas of your life, use those experiences as investments towards your future dreams.
The fourth investment we should make is in our habits. Sarah puts it best when she says the habit of today is an investment for the future. The habits you currently have, positive or negative, will shape your future. Sarah gives a good way for you to determine whether your habits will help or harm your future. She says to consider the return your habits can give and ask, "Is this what I want for my future?" Habits are hard to break but easy to fall back into; ask anyone who has skipped a few days of working out, and they will confirm this!
Before I wrap up this entry, I want to share another great quote from the chapter:
You are incredibly talented, beautiful, and amazing, so consider your investments conscientiously. It is wisdom to take regular stock of your life and put things into perspective. If you recognize bad investments, ditch them now and move on. There are many great opportunities, people, and habits you can develop in life. It is a shame to waste them on bad ones.That is so true! Life is too short and too precious to waste on bad habits, bad relationships, or a lack of dreams. I thought this chapter would call me out as a shop-a-holic, but instead it is challenging me to think about what I want from my investments.
Today's challenge: Reflect now on how you invest your time. Be honest with yourself and take a good, thorough look. Now the hard part: decide what to change and figure out how to do it.