Consider Your Ways

This request is found in God's exhortation of his people in Haggai chapter 1. Haggai was probably among the Babylonian born Jews who returned from exile with Zerubbabel (cf. Ezra 5:1). The provocation for the instruction, "consider your ways" came from the fact that the Jews had started to rebuild the temple as per the edict of Cyrus, but had allowed local opposition to delay the process. They had not worked at rebuilding God's house for 16 years. They were seeing to their own needs but neglecting God's commands. Therefore, God had chastised them. They had, for example, sown much but brought in little (1:6). Their efforts lacked divine blessing. The wages they earned were soon gone like putting money into a bag with holes in it (l:26). Nothing prospered at their hands while they disregarded their duty to God.

Today we may question why the church is not growing. Need we consider our ways? On a personal level we wonder why we are not developing spiritually. Consider your ways We ask why we are having such a challenge living the Christian life. Consider your ways. Set your heart on what you have done, what you have experienced, and the consequences thereof. Think about and focus on what you should be doing. Contrast your conduct with what God would have you to do. Jeremiah said, "let us search and try our ways" (Lamentations. 3:40). It is still a good admonition for us in the 21st century.

In Haggai l:7 God has Haggai repeat the instruction to "set your heart on your ways" for emphasis. This was a serious matter. They had a responsibility to build God's house that he might be glorified. They were to give priority to the building of the temple. Today we must seek the kingdom first (Mt. 6:33). The church/kingdom, the house of God, must have first place in our life. If we focus on earthly things to the neglect of the spiritual, we might expect God to "blow upon it" (Haggai l :9). They had hoped to gain by not spending their money on the temple. God looked at their greediness and blew upon it! He blew away any prosperity they might have attained. If we seek the kingdom first; all our needs shall be provided (Mt. 6:33).

Should we consider our ways? Is there a benefit for me to set my heart on my life? Out of all God's creation, man has the capacity for introspection. We can evaluate our life, make studied judgments, and adjust accordingly. You profit from the experience when you "consider your ways".

-Paul Clements

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