Monday, February 2, 2009

Day 2. Favor

Proverbs 12:2
A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but the LORD condemns a crafty man.

If I had the right plans, everything would be OK. Everyone else I know has a carefully laid out vision for the rest of their lives. Especially at the start of a new year. If I could only plan the right way, everything would all work out in my favor.

At least that's what I think most days. I look at all my Christian friends and imagine they’ve got it all figured out. They’ve got purpose and direction and goals. And I’ve got a tangle of raw ideas that never seem to unravel the way I really want them to. So I start worshipping the act of planning. I start making an idol out of this fictional plan in my head that is going to save the day and give me a stress free life.

I forget that favor comes from the Lord and that when I covet something someone else has or I perceive they have, I shift into crafty mode in about 2.2 seconds.

Favor can only come from the Lord but I often look there last.

Where do you look for favor?

18 comments:

heartafire said...

This is great teaching, Jon.



[Although I do wish that he wasn't so explicit about the "condemns" part.]

Jane D said...

Daft isn't it that God gives us all that we need in Him, and yet we all seem to spend most of our time trying to go it alone - thanks for making me think about this!

vikki (Philippines) said...

"Favor can only come from the Lord but I often look there last." --- right through the heart.

Only God knows what my motives are when I’m trying to be good in the eyes of men. Whenever Mother Teresa was asked why she was
working for the poor and the leper, she would answer… “All for Jesus, all for Jesus, all for Jesus”. Am I that holy?
Can I even be capable of that?

SARS said...

Amen bro...i am crafty in the way that i don't want people to know my problems even if they are genuinely concerned. It's just too uncomfortable.

I also feel uneasy around people who are excellent micro-organisers because my life isn't linear and is more representative of the chaos theory. But that's good i think because my problems have helped create some positives like empathy and sensitivity to other's struggles which i might not have otherwise. I don't true life is linear.

Shawna said...

Jon,
Thanks for posting here.
Even small tidbits become a HUGE encouragement to me.
I love that you're walking through this one verse at a time.

As for me, I begin to scheme in my own mind how to obtain favor. I too, often find myself looking for God's favor last. I'm fairly adept at favoring myself when I'm feeling low. But I've found that it is never satisfying like I imagine it will be.
I'm thankful though for the swift kick in the head which reminds me that all good and perfect things come from the Father.

SAW said...

It's funny. (sad, not ha ha). When you lose favor of those that you had and thought you would never lose, you realize how much more it meant to you than you thought. Happened to me. I learned and am learning through it the value of loyalty, true friendships and the unconditional love of my Father. Funny again, the more I learn that, the less I desire or need the other. May His favor be with each of us today.

lenamarie said...

We never "arrive". It seems like there's always Something that will cause us to lean on God. At least that's the vibe I get from a lot of people. Funny how as a kid you think adults always have it all together, and then you become an adult and wonder if you missed the memo. Or maybe that's just me.

Kendra Golden said...

I struggle constantly to rely on God's favor instead of my own tremendous craftiness. And I don't mean arts-and-craftiness, I mean politicking, side-conversation-having, sneaky, running an angle craftiness.

It's probably so silly to God when he sees us pretending like we can run around behind His back and get things done better than He can. I feel sheepish just thinking about how ridiculous I am.

Julianna said...

I am often guilty of being crafty. Much of that comes from the fear of the unknown. I try to create situations to avoid what I am most afraid of instead of resting and finding favor in the Lord.

daphne said...

I am a big time planner and believe me, while it keeps me from getting lost in a bottle, I do not have it all together or even just a little together.

I recently realized I look for favor from man more than I thought. I was trying to teach my girls only what God thinks of us matters and He was all, 'go look in the mirror right quick.' I was busted. Favor comes from the Lord.

syinly said...

You really make me think with these devotional post. I have been looking for favor for a while, but I have to remember He has given me gifts, that will make room for me( open doors).

Anonymous said...

I can get this way also about order and discipline. I don't have as much structure or discipline in my life as I would like, so I become consumed with the concept. I'm sure there is a healthy way to focus on both, but I'm still pressing towards that.

Donna said...

a completed checklist.....

favor in my eyes.........

not exactly the right place for favor to come from.....

Anonymous said...

Baskin and Robbins!

The Laughing Rover said...

I was one of those Christians who had it all figured out, had the right plans, and a carefully laid out vision for the rest of my life (literally). I thought it was perfect, and was sorry for everyone else...

Apparently God didn't like my perfect plan, because He completely blew it out of the water in a total of 5 months. And--thanks be to God--I've been thrown back completely on his favor and nothing else. Pretty rough going losing my idol, though.

heartafire said...

Oooh, this really was a good one. I've been thinking about it all day, and really hate how "crafty" I am.

Thank you for your teaching.

Matthew W said...

Being single, my craftiness sometimes goes from coveting something that someone has to coveting someone... as in the person herself. And when that happens... not good.

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