Proactive Vs Passive
With the changes of lifestyles and circumstances has come a need for people to be more attentive to their health and financial matters. Thus, a word that would describe such attentiveness has become quite common. That word is proactive. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online edition), it means “controlling a situation by making things happen or by preparing for future problems.”
As mentioned above, the need for this can easily be illustrated in terms of one’s health or financial matters. Those two areas can become quite problematic for a person in this day and age. If one does not exercise and watch their eating habits, weight and other issues can become difficulties. Likewise, preparation and action are needed in the area of financial responsibility. Poor spending and saving habits can wreak havoc on family finances.
Proactivity is especially advantageous in the spiritual realm. Jesus commended proactivity when he gave the illustration of the wise man building his house on a foundation of rock (Matthew 7:24-28). A house can be very pretty and attractive without having a good foundation, but someone who wants to retain the house through a storm or other calamities will begin with a strong foundation. Of course, the illustration was concerning people and their spiritual foundations. By being attentive and obedient to the word of God, one can weather the spiritual calamities of life.
Proverbs 27:12 says, “The prudent sees danger coming and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (ESV) How many times have you seen someone who was drawn away from God because they did not prepare themselves for the possibility of trouble ahead. Precautions are available to prevent adultery, drunkenness, drug addiction and other problems. However, a person must see
the need for proactivity and act in order to avoid these things.
The commands and advice in the Bible are proactive in nature. They move us toward God and keep us from the path of sin. In just such a discussion, David wrote, “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them is great reward” (Psalm 19:10-11).
It is interesting when people are proactive in their physical affairs but not spiritual matters. They may retire in this life with steady income and in good health, but their future in eternity is not so bright (Luke 12:15; 1 Timothy 4:8).