James- Day 46

Monday, October 31, 2011 

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:”
James 4:13

James is addressing a portion of his audience that was apparently entrepreneurial.  He was speaking to them about their plans.  These people had very, very strategic plans.  Their plans actually could potentially be a good example to those of us who want to be good stewards of the time, and resources that God has given us.  Their plans included:

  • a time- “Today or tomorrow”- The idea that two options are talked about here does not mean that they were being careless about this decision.  They had specific reasons and thoughts specific to the timing of their venture.
  • a place- “such” a city- This could mean that they had planned a specific city or at least a specific type of city in which they planned to conduct their business.
  • a duration- “a year”- The plans descirbed here were not short term plans like a business trip over a weekend.  These were long-term, life altering decisions that are being described.
  • a goal- “buy and sell and get gain”- These people were not just carelessly planning a vacation or buying a home.  They were being strategic with what they were trying to accomplish.  They were chasing investment opportunities and business ventures.

As I’m writing this devotion, I’m sitting at Panera Bread, which is a place I like to go from time to time to think, study and write.  At the table next to me is what looks to be a father and a daughter planning out the daughters spring semester of college.  It’s pretty cool to see a dad taking such an interest in his daughters future to help her make decisions about what classes to take, and strategies to employ in being successful in college.  It is interesting that this is the environment in which I’m reading what James has to say about planning.  It further proves James overall point.

We plan all of the time over our entire lives.  Even those who don’t plan have really just planned not to plan.  What I mean is that they have chosen to do something else with their time other than taking the appropriate amount of time to really think through their future.

James is not against planning.  (Check out verse 15 coming up!).  A failure to plan appropriately is a surefire plan to fail.  James is against incomplete planning as we will see tomorrow.

Although James’ point in this text is not to give us inspiration or information on how to plan, it seems a good time to ask this question.  Have you taken time to think about your future?  Have you been purposeful and pro-active about where you are going and what you are doing?  If you haven’t, and if you have, make sure to come back all week long as we look at what James has to say about planning.  If you haven’t thought about your future and where you are going, how can you start today?