I went out to my garden sitting spot to read my Bible and pray before I began to write. In my little patio area surrounded by garden, I have a table to sit at and on that table a vase of flowers from my garden. I had cut and put Baby’s Breath and Zinnias in that vase because they make a beautiful combination. As I walked out to the table, I was reminded that they don’t last long. The water had turned green and the flowers were almost dead. The entire setting was beautiful except for that vase of flowers that had suffered from my neglect.
David teaches us something about neglect saying, Psalms 119:16 (NIV) “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Remember that what David wrote was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That means God intended us to learn from these words. He says we shouldn’t neglect His Word. We shouldn’t neglect wise counsel to protect us from our own stubborn ways. He says we shouldn’t neglect the spiritual gifts—those talents and abilities within us to touch others with His love. His word teaches us not to neglect the godly relationships that become voices and examples to keep us in check and anchored in living a life for Him. And He with great warning teaches us to be careful not to neglect our salvation—His plan to bless our life and save us from our sins through Jesus. He says don’t neglect it because if you do, how will you escape the life and its consequences you were heading toward before Jesus rescued you?
What does neglect look like? Well, it doesn’t seem bad until you look closely at things you’ve truly neglected. My vase originally looked beautiful but today it looked ugly. That’s what neglect does. Our relationship with Jesus could be a beautiful and wonderful relationship but neglect can make it feel dead. Significant relationships can suffer. The yard can start to look like an overgrown weed-pile. The house can become tattered and torn.
What do we do if we know we’ve neglected what we shouldn’t have? First, understand that neglect starts with yielding to feeling tired and then procrastination. If continued it works toward laziness. It then turns to indifference and apathy. It’s a cancer for sure! So how do we break out of it? Acknowledge it to God and yourself! Tell the Lord you are sorry and ask Him to put you on a right path. It won’t be easy because your flesh will cry and scream along the way. Ask the Lord for His grace to help you! If you are sincere, you’ll find His grace to help you in those moments of need.
Then begin to thank God for the very reason He blessed you with the things you’ve become lazy about. That could be your spouse, your children, your Bible reading, going to church, your job, your health and fitness, or friendships. It could be a number of things—things you’ve taken for granted and neglected. Think about the blessing it had brought and was designed to bring you by God Himself. When you’ve done that, take a series of small action steps to appreciate and embrace what you’ve neglected. Do it immediately and immediately you will feel better. These small steps will help to begin to reverse your neglect and gain some positive momentum. Passionately embracing and loving that which is important is key to breaking neglect! It produces the beauty and blessing of that which God brought it into your life to bless you with in the first place. Get on this path again and you’ll soon feel refreshed and like a new person.
How can we neglect what God has given us and think we will get away with it? Only deception produces that kind of thinking. Know what’s right to do and ask God to strengthen you by His Spirit in your inner man to do it. Then stop neglecting and begin to make things beautiful! He’ll help you every step of the way! It’s His will.
P.S. I just changed the water and flowers on my garden table! It looks so beautiful again and makes me feel so much better!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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