“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Proverbs 6:6
Ouch! Talk about an insulting verse. I’m a human being, and my intelligence is being compared to an ant?! :)
This is one of those verses that people love to quote, but hate to hear. The truth is that most of us could afford to be reminded of these verses every now and then.
Making Goals Like an Ant
Every time the New Year comes around, you can almost count on these two items to make it to most people’s resolution list: health and finances.
The first few verses in Proverbs chapter 6 fit these two categories perfectly.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
There are two things that come to mind immediately when I think about the ant and money: an emergency fund and a retirement account.
There’s been enough written about emergency funds, so I’ll spare you the details. My advice: get one. Start with $100, build it to $500, and try to set aside $1,000 in the next few months. Then work on $5,000 then $10,000…you get the picture.
I hope you’re taking your retirement savings seriously. There isn’t anyone but yourself who is going to provide for you in retirement, so go bump up your retirement contribution to your 401(k) or open an IRA and get started with a small automatic contribution each month. You won’t regret it!
One of my resolutions usually involves trying to wake up earlier (which usually means trying to get to bed earlier. Verses 9-11 fit perfectly:
How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Poverty and scarcity are not on my goal list, that’s for sure. Here’s what I get out of this verse: we all have 24 hours in a day. Some people sleep them away and some people wake up early and get stuff done. I want to get stuff done and to be productive, so these verses are an encouragement.
Hopefully these verses give you a little encouragement to meet your goals this year!