Solomon’s Best Advice: 14 Tips That Will Change Your Life
Timing is everything. King Solomon knew that. But his poem on seasons of life can be hard to understand. Here are a few suggestions of how you can maximize the moments God gives you. Solomon’s poem is recorded in Ecclesiastes, chapter 3.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
1. Listen to God’s voice and let Him guide you. “Every activity under heaven” requires the expenditure of time and energy, the focus of your attention and the application of an acquired skill. Trying to get something to happen outside the “right” time often results in frustration and failure.
2. Trust God with your life and don’t worry about the future. “a time to be born and a time to die,” None of us chose when to be born. It would be unfortunate if any of us would choose to die before we experience real living.
3. Let God guide your creativity. “a time to plant and a time to uproot,” It takes knowledge and understanding to know the best time to plant the seed of an idea and when to uproot ideas that are no longer useful.
4. Lose bad habits. Mourn and comfort the hurts in your life so that you can experience emotional healing. “a time to kill and a time to heal,” Some personal habits need to be terminated so that the essence of you may be healed and flourish.
5. Focus on God’s truth. “a time to tear down and a time to build,” Now is a good time to tear down misconceptions and false beliefs. Now is the right time to build confidence based in truth.
6. Grieve when you need to grieve and celebrate when you need to celebrate! “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Events and conditions signal when it is appropriate to express these powerful emotions. Grief should follow a loss for a while, but laughter needs to follow so we can continue our journey forward. Life is for the living. So, make it a point to really live as long as you are alive.
7. Learn from your mistakes and let God re-build your life. “a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,” Stones of stumbling, stones of hindrances generally need to be cast aside. Sometimes these same stones need to be gathered together to build walls for shelter and monuments to help us remember.
8. Navigate your relationships wisely. “a time to embrace and a time to refrain,” Sometimes an embrace provides comfort and acceptance to enhance a relationship; but, over-done, it can promote dependence. At times a person needs the opportunity to stand alone in order to build confidence.
9. Learn to be comfortable with mystery. “a time to search and a time to give up,” The relentless pursuit of answers to some questions may be appropriate until the answer is found. At other times the permanent loss of what once was, or what might have been needs to be acknowledged and grieved so more productive pursuits can be taken up. The answer to “why” may not be available.
10. Prioritize. “a time to keep and a time to throw away,” Keeping things requires space and organization. Maintaining relationships requires energy and attention. Some things and some relationships can get in the way of worthy objectives. Throwing away some “stuff” and letting go of some relationships may be difficult, but necessary.
11. Sort out your beliefs. “a time to tear and a time to mend,” There are times when the soiled rags of irrational beliefs need to be torn to shreds. It is always appropriate to mend the fragments of truth into a usable fabric that can wrap the soul in comfort.
12. Shut up or speak up. “a time to be silent and a time to speak,” We are often tempted to speak when silence would be more productive. Have you ever posed a question to a friend or relative and tried to “coach” them to give you the “right” answer? Asking a pointed question requires enduring the silence until the person responds. A lengthy silence may indicate how pertinent the question is.
13. Love the person, hate the sin. “a time to love and a time to hate,” Sensitive people believe it is best to love at all times and under every circumstance. Hating seems so crude. But the question is: What shall we hate? The answer might be: “I hate what you are doing to yourself; I hate the destruction you are bringing to yourself by your resistance to truth. I love you too much to hide my hatred of your foolishness.”
14. Some things are worth fighting for. “a time for war and a time for peace,” A pacifist rejects the idea that sometimes war is necessary; that sometimes war can be good. This thinking denies the reality of evil. Evil exists. Doing battle with the forces of evil is the only righteous course of action. Any attempt to pacify evil discounts the value of righteousness. Time for peace arrives after Evil is defeated. Then peace can be celebrated among the righteous.
Timing is everything. Practice makes perfect. Practice implies making mistakes and doing poorly at first. By paying attention to the process as well as the objective, we can decrease the unnecessary expenditure of energy, make better use of time and devote attention to what is most important.
Sensitivity to timing increases your effectiveness and reduces your frustration.
Learn what time it is in your life!