Published in  
February 18, 2021

Lenten Gestures - Foreseeing

Matthew 25:2

"Five of them were foolish, and five were wise."

One of the things I struggle with is practicing foresight when I believe certain things "must be done." Even when I’ve prayed about it, once I get MY sights on what appears to be the right thing, look out! Sadly the end often becomes more important than the means and true love goes out the window.

Jesus’ Parable of the Ten Virgins speaks to this struggle: “Five of (ten virgins) were foolish and five were wise” (Matthew 25:2). Why were five foolish? They did something without practicing “foresight.” Why were five wise? They practiced “foresight.”

Foreseeing requires getting beyond our natural compulsions that often mislead us. Instead of simply taking action based upon what we believe is right in the moment, we must take steps to allow God to speak to us about what is truly right and best before taking action. For me this means slowing down, taking a deep breath and practicing these steps:

1) Honestly getting in touch with what I believe is right and needed in the moment;

2) Sitting quietly, listening for God’s perspective about what is right and needed;

3) Asking a trusted and godly friend their perspective about what is right and needed;

4) Making sure what I believe is right and needed is in line with scripture;

5) Honestly discerning if there is true peace in my soul before taking action.

If what I feel is right and “must be done” before I practice these five things, most likely what I believe is right and needed is not. Yet when I take these five steps before taking action, I avoid falling into compulsions that mislead me and hurt others.

This Lent, I encourage you to take time to prayerfully consider whether you need more of this kind of foresight in your life. What might this look like and what will this require? What simple, intentional and incremental adjustments are needed (each day) to allow this way of living to become more your actual reality?

Grace & Peace,

Mike Harbert

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Art: Dea Jenkins | "What Do You See?" | watercolor | 2020