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.