Word Wednesday Nugget – Ought to
By Dr. Rebekah McCloud
The other day I saw a sign on a church marque. It said this is an “Ought to Biography.” I am sure I am not by myself with a list of things I ought to do. I ought to stay out of the stores. I ought to drink more water. I ought to take more steps. I ought to study more. I ought to drink less coffee. This is my ought to biography; what is on your list? While in the grand scheme of things these may seem small, they matter. The Bible says it is the little foxes that spoil the vines (Song of Solomon 2:15). These little foxes remind me of the broken window theory. It suggests that as soon as you notice a “broken window” (it could be a bad habit, a wrong decision, an error in judgement, etc.), you should fix it immediately. If not, that one could lead to another and another.
For many of us, our lives are filled with little foxes and broken windows that go unnoticed, unaddressed, and/or ignored. How can we be about our Father’s business if we do not have a handle on our own? Before we do a thing, we must declare a thing. Job 22:28 says, “thou shalt also decree a thing and it shall shine upon thee and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” Declaring a thing means to speak it aloud, to make it known, or to put it out there. This is easier said than done. Ridding our lives of the little foxes and the broken windows is not for the faint at heart. It takes work, courage, and a firm, unwavering belief in God. He restores, redeems, renews, and revives. “Some trust in chariots and horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God,” (Psalms 20:7). God’s plan done God’s way does not lack God’s provision. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
As Christians, there are lots of things we ought to do. We ought to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15), be good stewards (1 Timothy 6: 17-21), witness to others (Jeremiah 1: 7-9), and give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We ought to also proclaim the word of God (2 Timothy 4: 2-5), practice obedience (Deuteronomy 5:33), fear God and not man (Proverbs 19:23), and be ready for God to use (Isaiah 6:8). We ought to be about kingdom work. Matthew 13:44 tells the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl. The verse says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 9:37 tells us that, “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
Saints, we have work to do. This life is short; too short to be caught unaware, unprepared, upset, and unhappy. “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing the wind,” (Ecclesiastes 4:6). I heard a guy say, “Get rid of the nonsense, so you can use your common sense, so your life can make sense.” Sounds good. I am planning to remove the word ought from my vocabulary. Instead, I am going to use the phrase “will do” and frame it in the positive instead of the negative. This is my “will do” biography. I decree it, declare it, and I am sticking to it.