Christian Perspective: Lessons from the Ant

We can learn a lot from ants. Yesterday as I was thinking about what to write about today, I came across a great list of scriptures pertaining to personal finance at ChristianPF. (If you haven’t read the ChristianPF blog, you should. It’s a good one.) I thought it might be interesting to focus on a scripture a week.

Please remember that I’m an everyday, average person who loves God and is trying to to the best with what I’ve been given. I’m not a pastor or theologen, and I’m only posting my reflections on the Bible passages. If you have any questions about what I’ve written, please study the passages for yourself, or consult your pastor.

The passage I’d like to focus on today is Proverbs 6:6-8.

Go to the ant, sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; who having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of ants. They invade my house every spring, and it’s a pain to get rid of them. I never actually stopped to consider the ways of the ant.

Yet, in this passage the Bible clearly tells us to consider the ways of the ant. So I looked it up. Here’s what I discovered.

Ants Live In Communities

In their communities, different ants have different roles. There’s an ant in charge of making sure the colony doesn’t die off (the Queen), and other ants who are the workers, foraging for food. All ants work together to ensure the survival of the colony.

In the same way, I believe God made us to be social. We are to help our friends and neighbors. I don’t think God ever meant for us to have a “go it alone” attitude. In the age of the internet, it’s easy to hole yourself up in your house and live in your own little world. Believe me, as an introvert, I know how easy it is.

But we need to be involved in the lives of the people around us, and when we see a need, we should be prepared to help when we can.

Ants Prepare for the Winter

I had no idea that ants hibernate during the winter. That would explain why I don’t see ants in the cold months! They prepare for hibernation by eating enough food in the fall to get them through the winter.

From the ants we can learn to prepare for our winters. I’m not talking about the actual winter season. I’m talking about the winters we all face in life. Job loss, financial emergencies, medical emergencies.

You all know that I’m big on trusting God to provide. I still stand by that. I believe he does provide during desperate circumstances. But I also believe that as much as we are able, we need to prepare for tough times while we’re enjoying good times.

The fact is, everyone will face a winter in life at one time or another. Life is full of ups and downs, and nobody is immune to tragedy and hard times. It’s definitely Biblical to prepare for the hard times in advance.

Nobody Tells the Ants to Be Prepared

Though there is an ant called the Queen, the queen doesn’t tell the other ants what to do. Her purpose is to lay eggs.

No, the worker ants gather food, because that’s how they survive. There’s nobody in charge, legislating what to do. They are responsible for themselves.

In the same way, I think the Bible calls us to be responsible. There are always exceptions, don’t get me wrong. But the majority of us are able to save money for a rainy day. And that’s what we need to do.

We need to look towards the future, while keeping an eye on the present. If we live too much in the present, while ignoring the future, we run the risk of abusing credit cards to satisfy our every whim. Then we will be in big financial trouble in the future.

If we live too much for the future, we risk not appreciating the present. If we work too much, we miss out on our children’s lives. That’s not OK either.

The ants are balanced. They eat what they need today. They eat enough to get them through the winter. But they don’t eat too much. If they didn’t eat enough today, they’d die. If they gorged themselves on too much food, they’d explode. The find the perfect balance. And that’s what we need to do too.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Photo by ARTchemist* (AWAY).

On Sundays I write specifically from my perspective as a Christian. Since my faith is central to who I am, my blog would not be genuine, if I were to try to separate my writing from my faith.



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By , on Jun 22, 2008
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{13 Comments}

  1. Tam:

    I am preparing a study on Proverbs 6:6-11. Your insights were helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. sherry ashley:

    As I was thinking about the ants this morning and started to google for the Bible scripture about ants….I came upon YOUR POST; It is GREAT….sharing with my facebook friends/family. God bless you Lynnae. Sherry Ashley

  3. Lisha:

    Hi there, I just happened to chance upon this page during a Googling attempt to learn more about ants. I am a children’s author-cum-freelance writer and I am currently working on a story about ants. Of course, my story is from an Islamic perspective since ants are mentioned in our Noble Qur’an and I believe God wants us to learn a lesson from the humble ant. Your Christian perspective also gave me inspiration and I have included your points in my work. Thanks and regards from Qatar, Lisha Azad

  4. michael:

    as events happening on the world scene creates panic and makes us wonder where our world is heading towards, God has the solution for us in the Holy Bible,that is in the book of Daniel and Revelation.These prophecies are precise and were written some years ago before the events unfolded.

  5. totally agree. we need balance in life and not just focusing on one particular thing. we are by nature social being and thus need to interact with others. Like the ant, however, being responsible doesn’t mean hoarding more than we need. Not just food but also other material things which we think we need in order to be happy. But no matter how much money or other stuff we get, we are n ever satisfied. So that’s why it’s best to take example from the ants. They just take what they need. God provides everyone. He clothes and feeds the insects and the birds and so, how much more us? just have faith in the Lord and direct our love to Him and we will be satisfied.

  6. I like the lesson about the ant.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Lynnae,
    1. Great post – I love how God uses His creation to teach us valuable lessons
    2. Thanks for the mention!
    3. As you mentioned, I do have an index of money related scriptures on my site – but a great book to get is called “The Word on Finances” by Larry Burkett. It is a great resource to have and you can get it used from Amazon for under $2.

  8. Lynnae:

    @on – There are a lot of scriptures about money in the Bible. I’ve heard there are over 800, but I’ve never really looked into it.

    @Penny – I have written about tithing before. You can find it here: http://www.beingfrugal.net/une.....provision/

  9. I actually had this scripture on my whiteboard for about a year for motivation to work hard.

    Btw, I’m will to bet Aesop’s fable used this scripture as the inspiration for his fable. Many many things have their roots in the scriptures.

  10. "Mo" Money:

    I like the lesson you got from that scripture. I’ve read that there are more scriptures about money and how to handle it than any other subject in the Bible.

  11. Foxie:

    Reminds me of the Aesop fable about the grasshopper and the ant. That was always one of my favorite stories, and I believe you could get the same things out of that story that you got out of the Bible passage.

    It really does all boil down to personal responsibility. Too many people right now are looking to blame the government, Iraq, etc. for their problems instead of taking control themselves.

  12. Marci:

    Personal responsibility – would that ‘everyone’ would understand that ideal and act upon it :) Thanks for the thoughtful blog this morning :)

  13. Penny:

    Have you ever addressed the topic of tithing? If so, where can I find that on your blog?

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