Don’t Talk Your Dreams To Death

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

“In all toil (labor) there is profit”
Diligent work always leads to some result or profit of benefit to the worker. Most work is neither easy nor fun but it does pay the bills and provides money for doing good and having fun. Even if you have a job you enjoy, there will be  unpleasant duties. People who love to garden still must get dirty, sweaty, and dig through the soil if they want to have the flowers or produce of the garden.

“Mere talk leads to poverty”
In contrast to diligent labor, talk without action leads to poverty. Idle talking does not pay and has gotten some people fired. Grandiose plans and slick presentations may impress others but it does not pay one cent if no labor is expended to make the dream a reality.

The first obvious application—indeed the natural application—of this verse is to the business world. In the early days of personal computers —before the average person could access the Internet—a man I knew had great plans to work with realtors to put pictures of houses for sale on videodisc (pre-DVD) with sale information for agents and customers. He had a prototype system, good marketing plan, and enthusiastic presentation. He talked with people in the office about his plans and the unlimited potential for profits. One problem: he did not have customers or profit from the work because he did not get out and talk to the customers who needed the system. In short, he planned and talked his way to poverty while other people, through hard work, were able to profit from similar ideas.

The world is made up of  poor creative geniuses and  rich people of average intelligence. The difference is not what they know but by what they do.

This principle is especially important for spiritual growth. Is your spiritual life the product of hard work or mere talk?

Some people talk about “getting their life right” or “straightening up” but still hang out with ungodly friends, feed their minds with filth, and do not change. Some say they want to pray or study more—and do so year after year. Some talk about doing more things with their brethren, helping the sick or needy, or getting involved with some work in the church but do not act.

Some people realize their life is displeasing to God, is yielding undesirable consequences, and is unsatisfying so they change their behavior. Some want a closer relationship with God and execute a plan to study and pray more frequently. Some take action to involve themselves with their brethren so they can have richer and deeper fellowship with other Christians.

If you want to have a rich and meaninful spiritual life, you’ll have to work for it.

  • Romans 13:11-14 – Awake and get busy
  • Thessalonians 5:4-8 – get busy with good things
  • Ephesians 5:14-17 – wake up and make good use of your time

 “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19 (NIV)

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” How sad it will be for those who dreamed of a close relationship with God and their brethren, a close loving family, and a meaningful life’s work to fail because they only dreamed and did not act.

Giving Back…To Those Who Take Care of You

Your parents, grandparents, or whoever takes care of you makes great sacrifices for you. Instead of a problem this month, I want you to think of some things that I hope you would like to do for your parents.

  • Thank your parents for cooking, doing the laundry, and other work to make the house run well
  • Thank your parents for working so that you can have a place to live, food to eat, and money to get things you need.
  • Thank your parents for teaching you about God.
  • Obey your parents because it is the right thing to do and it will make you and your parents happy.
  • Obedience and Happy Parents

    “A wise son makes a glad father,
    But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.” Proverbs 10:1

    Why do parents want their children to obey? Is it because they like to see people doing what they say? No, they are pleased when their children do what they are supposed to do without being told.

    A wise son or daughter, is one who knows what God wants, the parents expect, and what they should do and do it without being told. The parents are happy and proud to see their children making the right choices and behaving well. When they are around other adults, it makes them glad to know that their children will not embarrass them with rude or bad behavior.

    A foolish child brings grief to his parents. They are sad because they do not see them making good choices. They may be embarrassed with other adults because they must constantly correct their children.

    It is up to you whether you will be a wise or foolish child. You are the only person who can decide to do what is right, to behave even when your parents are not watching, and to make good choices.

    Not only will your parents be glad when you do what is right, you will be glad because you will not be punished but rewarded with respect for making good choices.

    Disappointment When Parents Let You Down

    All of us have had some disappointment in life. Perhaps someone made a promise to us that we would do something extra special but, before we could go, it started raining, we got sick, the person who was going to do something for us got sick, or something else prevented us from doing that special thing. We may have cried or just have been sad. Either way, we felt disappointment.

    There will be many times in our lives that we will have great joy but we will also have disap-pointments. Even as an adult, I make plans to do things with my family or friends only to be disappointed because our plans did not work out.

    Parents sometimes want to do special things for their children but the plans do not work out. As a parent, I am as excited as my children about a trip to someplace special or some other activity that will allow us to spend fun time together.

    Sometimes unexpected bills means that we do not have the money to do what we planned when we planned to do it. We do not want to get in trouble with the people to whom we owe money so we have to change our plans to do the special thing when we have more money.

    Sometimes a parent has to do something at work, likely caused by some emergency, that requires them to change the plans. It is not that they want to be a work instead of being with you, but sometimes a parent has to fix the problem at work in order to make sure they have a job. The parent would rather be doing something special, but they know they will have to plan it for later.

    As young people, you can be understanding when your parents have to change their plans. They want to spend time with you and do special things for you but sometimes things do not go as planned. Remember, even as adults, they are disappointed when things do not work out. Give them a hug, try to understand, and help them plan the time when you can have that special time together.

    Secrets You Should NOT Keep

    Trust is a very important quality in a friend. We often will tell friends things that are important to us but that we do not want others to know. It is good to have friends with which you can share fears, hopes, and dreams. However, we must be careful of some secrets that others want us to keep. There are some secrets that we must not keep.

    If a person says they are going to harm other people or themselves, we must try to stop the violence. You may need to tell a teacher, principal, or parent depending on the situation. I had a friend tell me that he took too much medicine one time when he was trying to hurt himself. I told someone in charge at our school and they were able to make sure that the medicine would not hurt him and try to help him not hurt himself in the future.

    An important secret that you must not keep is any secret that an adult wants you to keep from your parents. It does not matter if that adult is a relative (like an uncle, aunt, cousin, or grandparent), an elder, preacher, church teacher, school teacher, principal, or any other adult.

    Please listen to me:  a responsible adult will never say or do anything to you that they would not want your parents to know about. A caring and concerned adult would never say that they will hurt you, your parents, or a brother or sister if you tell your parents something you saw, heard, or something that happened to you. You do need to tell your parents. An adult who would say such things is likely trying to cover up something they are doing wrong; in fact, they are scared of your parents finding out. If you tell your parents—and you should—they will protect you, your brothers and sisters, and themselves and will be able to handle the problem. Please trust your parents, not the person who would try to scare you. Talk to your parents about this and you will see that what I am saying is true. You will not be a tattle-tale if you tell your parents; you will be doing the right thing.

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