Don't Settle for Being a Participant

A devotion on Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
–Proverbs 3:5-6

I can’t begin to count the number of things my children participated in when they were growing up.

I am sure, however, that the number is a big one. 4-H meetings, competitions, judging events, achievement days, and fairs: the list goes on and on.

Sometimes they won their events, sometimes they placed, and sometimes they lost. But never did they receive a “participation ribbon.” And they never expected to.

People who argue in favor of participation ribbons claim they don’t want a child to feel left out or ‘bad’ about themselves. But here’s the thing: participation ribbons send a message that no matter what you do, you’ll be recognized and rewarded for it.

God doesn’t want you to settle for doing whatever you want. He wants you to do things His way.

Acknowledge that He has expectations, commands, directives, and guidelines. Acknowledge that God knows best and that He has standards you need to aspire to. And when you do, then you will be rewarded and recognized for a job well done, with blessings today’s verse calls “straight paths.”

Give your whole self to God; follow where He leads. Don’t settle for just being a participant.


Dear Lord, Please help me trust You in all things so I can see You as clearly as possible. I acknowledge Your leading. Please make my paths straight. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


What will I do this week to become more reliant on God?