Lessons from the Ants for Effective Living


Ants! Probably the smallest of all the common animals we know. Not as fierce as the Lion, the purported ‘King of the Jungle’, neither are they as big in size as the elephant. In fact, they are not even as crafty and subtle as the snake. The ants are not one of those animals we love and are fond of—they’re just ants! To be honest, they are easily overlooked; except they are climbing up your body when you ignorantly step on their uniform marching train, or when you notice them dangerously erecting their anthill on your property.

Having said all this, isn’t it surprising that the ancient King Solomon—who was, in his time, regarded as the wisest of all men—advised us to observe the wisdom in their dealings?

“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.”

Proverbs‬ ‭6:6-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬

On closer inspection, the ants are a fascinating bunch. We find out that they truly exemplify wisdom; wisdom worth considering and emulating. 

In this piece of writing, I’ll be sharing a couple of wisdom nuggets we can take away from observing the ants. Getting a firm grasp on these truths can improve your efficiency and consistency; as result, you are empowered to deal wisely in the matters of life. The principles implied from these lessons are timeless and will yield results (when diligently followed) in academics, career, spiritual growth, relationship with friends and family, and a host of other facets of life. 



You might be familiar with the felling of a lack of motivation and drive to get on with something (or to continue doing something beneficial). Being in this position, you may find it quite difficult to come out of. It also leaves you with the regret of missing out on all the beneficial things you could have done.

Seeing that this is such a big deal, then it might do us some good to “Go to the ant… Consider her ways, and be wise.”

“But why?” you would ask. “What can the ants teach us in this regard?”

Well, I know no other group of animals that is more efficient, effective, and self motivated than the ants. You see them always going about, doing one activity or the other. They are either building their home, collecting and distributing food, taking care of their eggs, or whatever else they can get their hands on. Of course they have a queen, but she does not direct the actions of other ants. So isn’t it amazing how the ants stay motivated?

Now you’re asking: “How do they do it?”

I’ll highlight two important factors that make the ants very successful in this regard:

1. They are self-disciplined. 

On observation, you’ll notice that the ants live a regimented life. Their entire life revolves around nuturing, sustaining, and protecting their colony. They carry these tasks out with amazing single-mindedness. To stay committed to a schedule like this—or any schedule at all—for a protracted period of time takes discipline. Loads of discipline. So, for them, it might be inconvenient and boring after a while, but they know it is required, so they keep at it.

There may be things you are not always excited about doing, like: being diligent with your studies, dedicating time to your daily devotion, cutting down on your consumption of certain foods because they may not be healthy for you despite how tasty they are, etc. But, just like the ants, you prioritize relevance and importance above convenience. You know that these routines—which can be sometimes boring—are beneficial on the long run, and you get on with them whether you feel like it or not.

2. They are gregarious.

 The ants live together in a colony, and this ensures that they are surrounded by individuals like themselves. I believe that this is a great way to stay motivated—having around you those who are like-minded, who hold similar principles, ideals, beliefs, and are disciplined. When you’re surrounded by motivated people, you are sure to get (and stay) motivated.

Our company plays a huge role in how we live out our lives. This is true whether we like to believe it or not. You shouldn’t be friends with people who are uncoordinated and lazy in their approach to life; their indolence will rub off on you, leading you to an inevitable ruin. (Proverb 13:20)

Remember this popular saying, “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”? It’s still very true today. You might want to take a look at your circle and find out those whose conduct are commendable and are of good report; those with behaviours you’ll like to mirror. These are the ones you should flock with. The Bible, in Hebrews 10:24 (NLT), says we should motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  Think about that!


“...They labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.”

(Proverbs 6:8 NLT)


Now, let’s talk about what the eight verse of the sixth chapter of Proverbs is teaching us: understanding times and seasons. The ants’ industriousness is demonstrated in their ability to gather food in time of plenty, saving up for the impending days of lack. They understand that food will not always be available, so they work hard all through harvest/summer in preparation for winter.

For however long you’ve been in this world, you must have noticed that everything is divided into contrasting seasons: day and night, birth and death, seasons of abundance and seasons of nothing. These seasons are inevitable; they must have their course. We cannot stop them from happening, but we can control how they affect us.  Will you, like the ant, gather food in summer?

I urge you to take a quick assessment of every area of your life and ask yourself: "Am I in a season of plenty?" If your answer to this question is affirmative, then you know what you ought to do: gather! Gather as much as possible! That’s the wise thing to do.

These Scriptures help shed more light on what we’re saying:

Proverbs‬ ‭10:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.”

Proverbs‬ ‭30:25‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their meat in the summer;”



We are not ants, but we can learn from the wisdom displayed in their dealings. Ponder on these these things and think deeply on how they apply to your life and whatever situation you find yourself. Do you need to inculcate the habit of self-discipline? Or is it important that you start considering where you’re at at the moment and make necessary plans for the future? Or is both?

Whichever it is, learn from the ants!

0/Post a Comment/Comments