Become Consciously Selective

Scripture to Memorize She brings him good, not harm,  all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax  and works with eager hands. Proverbs 31:12–13 Passage to Read She brings him good, not harm,  all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. Proverbs 31:12–13 Guided Prayer Dear Lord, help me to become more selective! I want to be more selective about the music I listen to, the movies and television programs I watch, and the people I allow to influence my life. Holy Spirit, empower me to be more selective about where I invest my time, money, energy, and other resources. I want to work with eager hands—to be diligent and not self-indulgent. In particular, I recognize the need to be less self-indulgent of my taste buds and far more selective about the food I put in my mouth and on my table. Everything matters to you, and I want to please you in all things. Lord, you know sometimes I have trouble getting in gear in the mornings. I believe you’ll give me extra energy as I’m faithful to awake a little earlier each day, just to spend time with you and to get myself and my family off to a good start. Help me to provide for the basic needs of my family and others who rely on me for guidance. Lord, give me supernatural selectivity. Amen. Personal The Proverbs 31 woman was selective—she selected the wool and flax that was good enough for her to invest her time working with. To be selective means to be discriminating, discerning, and choosy—to be careful about the choices you make. It’s the opposite of the mindless living that characterizes so many of us today. The first MK (missionary kid) I ever met had been raised in the Amazon jungle. She said the first time she walked into an American grocery store (as a teenager), with instructions to pick up a box of cereal, she nearly had a nervous breakdown. Why? The selection was overwhelming. The cereal aisle alone contained more food than her entire village grocery. She was faced with so many choices, her head spun. I’ve traveled to remote villages in Asia, Africa, and Latin America where people have very few options. There’s only one place to draw water, only one market to purchase or barter for goods, only one food staple. Life is difficult yet simple. The more complex the society we live in, the more we need to exercise the art of selectivity. Whether we realize it or not, we’re making selections every day. We choose which way we dress and present ourselves to the world. We select the music we listen to, the movies and programs we watch, what we read and believe. We choose how we spend our time and with whom we spend it. We select our friends and even our enemies (although sometimes they select us!). Unlimited options and unending choices are both a blessing and, in some ways, a tremendous burden. To cope with the complexity, some people let others select for them. They go with the flow and unquestioningly follow the crowd. They take the path of least resistance. They listen to whatever music the radio station puts on the air, watch whatever programming the networks or cable channels choose, wear whatever is popular in the fashion magazines and at the mall. If we’re going to become the women God wants us to be, we’re going to have to begin being consciously selective, which means we ask ourselves questions like:
  • Is this the best use of my time, money, energy, and resources?
  • Is this God’s highest and best for me? Is it the healthiest thing for my spirit, soul, and body?
  • Is this outfit glorifying to God?
  • Is it modest or does it draw attention to my physical attributes?
  • Do my daily choices reflect my true values or am I taking the path of least resistance simply to avoid the hard work of making conscious selections?
  • Being selective also applies to this 90-Day Jumpstart. No woman will be able to fully complete every project idea that is introduced here. Carefully consider which areas will be of most benefit to you and your family and focus your attention there. Begin today to practice being consciously selective.
Affirmation: I am consciously selective. Practical  Analyze each of the following areas, rating yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 meaning you take the path of least resistance (conforming to the world) and 10 meaning you are consciously selective in that area. Reading material Media exposure Fashion sense Financial priorities Family time Home life Diet/food selection Personal appearance Time usage What changes do you need to make? Notebook:  Label the fifth tab divider projects. (We will fill in the other tabs as we proceed.) Here you can list projects and worthwhile things to do with your time. Label one sheet selectivity. Divide it into three columns with the headings books to read, recommended movies, and positive projects. You can continually update these lists. As you progress through this Jumpstart, many great ideas will spring to mind that you won’t be able to act on because you’re too busy with each day’s assignments. Write them down! In the future, when you have time available, you can select how you want to invest it.