Want to Know What Smart Living Is?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Do you think you are smart? I think most people think they aren’t stupid. And many people would like to think they are smart. But how do they measure that? Is it a matter of measuring one’s IQ? Is it decided by how much education one has? Is being smart measured by how much common sense you have? People will measure being smart by many different standards.

For me, I think I am smart when I see what God instructs me to do in His Word and I trust that more than my own opinion or ability to figure out how things should be done.

I was meditating on the verse 1 Cor. 7:30 (NLT) “Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God’s work.” The Apostle Paul wrote these words while teaching Christians about distractions that steal our attention from what is most important in this life—serving God and His plan in all the different ways He would lead us.

There are times—often too many—when someone or something makes us feel sad. We could easily give into discouragement and let that lead us to all the wrong places. Keeping focused on why you are in this earth—which is to serve the plan of God, will help you keep moving forward and bring you back to the big picture. God is smart and He knows that you serving His plan will help you. Consequently, He teaches us to not let sadness have anything more than a temporary (very temporary) place in our life. We need to get right back to living for the Lord and serving Him because that will help pull us out and help us move forward. I am smart if I follow His instruction in this.

There are times when I am happy! Happiness can be like an addiction. It is so good and so much fun that it’s all you want. Many people live their whole life chasing happiness rather than God’s plan for their life. The pursuit of happiness without God-given purpose is usually self-serving and can actually cause great periods of depression because it’s impossible to always maintain. It’s better to live happy and enjoy the happy moments of time that come naturally in life. The greatest happiness comes from serving God, serving His people, and helping others discover and live for Jesus. That doesn’t mean you have to talk about Jesus every second of your life. It means you walk in the joy of the Lord bringing happiness to others by bringing them the love of God through your smile, attitude, and love walk. Pursue that and you will be happy in the way God intended you to be. That is smart!

Finally, God teaches us we are smart when we use our wealth, that being money or whatever resources God has blessed us with, to be a blessing to others and the plan of God. Wealth pursued simply for one’s own pleasure will most often draw people away from God. This is true because they have the resources to “live the dream” that the world paints. Again, this is usually self-serving and those that live this way have little time to serve God. But, when you have great resources and you use them in the diversity of ways that God leads you to while keeping true to a consistent life of serving your church and the people around you, then you have used wealth in the purpose it is given for. That is smart!

Whether happy or sad, or wealthy, God wants us focused on Him and His purpose for your life; that is, serving His plan. This leads to smart living. I can’t improve on the Apostle Paul’s words, words I think lead us to being smart, and so I will close with them.

1 Cor. 7:30-31 (NLT) “Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God’s work. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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