Proverbs 11:25, 30 A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. . . The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
I’ve been reading the Proverbs lately, and these verses struck me. I had to stop and ponder them for a while. I, all too often, worry about getting enough sleep, having time for me, reserving my energy for the things I have to do in a day. But if I really want to have enough energy and strength for the tasks before me, my mind needs to be set on refreshing others.
This is a total 180 from what I normally think about. My thoughts, unfortunately, rotate and revolve around me. I think about what I need to get done in a day and how to achieve that. I often think about how to get my life more organized and under control so that I can feel as though I’ve accomplished something. I even think about inventive ways to get my kids to do things so that more can get done in a day. I’m a bit of a task oriented person, obviously.
The problem with being a task oriented person is that verses such as these are difficult for me. My husband, who is very people-oriented, finds refreshing others and winning souls easy. In fact, I don’t think he has to think about it; it just comes naturally. On the other hand he has to think about his tasks and how to actually complete them without getting side-tracked. For me, I can clean a room systematically from top to bottom and wonder why my kids can’t just innately sense the steps involved to accomplish the task. But, to really spend time refreshing another person and win their soul requires effort on my part. A lot of effort.
Truth be told, often I’m too lazy to put in that effort. But thanks be to God, the Refresher of our souls, that he gently reminds me why I’m at home with these seven little ones. It can so easily get lost in the mundane, the laundry, the schooling. But I’m not here to get laundry done or the floors swept. Those things have to get done and I can glorify God in the midst of them but they are secondary to refreshing my children and winning their souls for Christ.
After all, when my kids are grown will it matter more if they know the artists of the Renaissance or if they know the Artist of creation? Will it matter if they know about the Hun warriors or if they are warriors for Christ in an ever-darkening world?
I wrote in my journal at the end of my entry: “The Lord has given me eight people to refresh each day in my family. How can I ‘refresh’ them today? What can I do to win their souls for Christ? I leave those questions with you today.