“Don’t Hurt Your Family!” (Proverbs 28:19-20)

Over ten years ago, I began the process to start my own business. I knew it was an arduous route, in fact, some colleagues thought me crazy for even considering this. No one starts a medical laboratory by themselves!  Unfazed, I meticulously planned and sought the advice of many successful friends in business and physician colleagues, all of whom imparted sage advice to me. One of them, an entrepreneurial plastic surgeon with a thriving practice, offered to take me out to lunch because he wanted to hear the granular details my business plan. After listening to me present my plan, he nodded and gravely whispered, “Whatever you do, don’t hurt your family!”

 

I was startled by his statement. “What do you mean?”

 

He looked up and sighed. “I have seen so many docs, dentists, business people…they all have ambitious plans. Either they dream too big and sink too much money and time into their new business, or they don’t have the experience to do this. When things start falling apart, they don’t listen to the advice of others. Their careers and families are a mess. They hurt their family. They should have been content with what they had but they were impulsive, didn’t plan properly.” The wise counsel of my physician colleague correctly admonished me; my priorities needed to be for my family, for my loved ones whom God has blessed me rather than for myself and to satisfy my ego.

 

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
Proverbs 28:19 (ESV)

 

How many well-intentioned plans go awry because of poor planning or selfish ambitions? Why do so many blindly follow a dream  or worthless pursuits instead of first counting the cost? Why are so many families hurt or torn apart because of futile gambits and risky ventures? The answer is given by God in the very next verse.

 

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 28:20 (ESV)

 

Many hours of prayer, alone and with my wife, preceded the start of my business. I had a business plan but my priority was, and still is, my spiritual plan; God must be at the center.

I must always plan and proceed at His pace.

 

Seek God first! Don’t hurt your family!

 

Amen!

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

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