(The following post may seem a little negative to some. I write it with a heavy heart. But, obviously, I believe these things need to be said.)
I’m 63. Throughout most of those years I have watched many people do untold damage to themselves, their families, and their friends. And, yes, sadly, I’ve done plenty myself. We’ve done it simply by ignoring God’s way and doing things our way.
It’s as though God says, “Here. Let Me show you how to live in such a way that your life will bring joy and peace to yourself and to others.”
And we respond, “No thanks. I’d rather ruin everything.”
We are really highly skilled at rationalizing and excusing ourselves. We are highly skilled and experienced at convincing ourselves that what we want to do at the moment will make us quite happy and bring us no problems. Even though God quietly and persistently reminds us that if we insist on following our way instead of His way, we will reap horribly destructive results.
Sometimes I think that maybe we really realize, deep inside of us, that when we indulge our sinful self-centered desires we are playing around with matches and dynamite. But, like an out of control two-year-old, we want our way. So we indulge ourselves, rationalize, excuse ourselves, demand what we want… and get it. And, as Satan sits back and smiles, we and others experience the resulting ruin and devastation.
Isn’t it amazing how self-centered behavior can be presented to seem so cool on the sit-coms or in the movies?
Cool. Yeah. Like Jonestown Kool-aid.
Of course, what we need to do is to cry out for God’s wisdom. But you don’t see much of that going on, do you?
Thanks in part to a culture and society that urges us to indulge ourselves and think only about ourselves and do only what feels good to ourselves; and thanks to satanic deceptions; and thanks to the desires of our own flesh… we don’t hear many around us crying out for the wisdom of God.
Yet God pleads with us in His Word.
“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you.” (Proverbs 4:5-6)
“Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.” (Proverbs 4:13-15)
The Book of Proverbs is filled with such wisdom. But to most people today, those verses sound boring. Dull. Uninteresting. Part of the dust bin of history. What could this old man writing proverbs 3000 years ago possibly have to say to me?
“Read the Bible? Meditate on God’s truth? Seek wisdom? Are you kidding? I just want to have some fun!!! Get out of my face!”
From time to time I remind my students, “Sure… you may choose do whatever you want. But you do not get to choose the consequences. You will have to live with them. And consequences can be pretty ugly and pretty devastating.”
Of course, when the consequences do come our natural tendency is to blame someone or something else for the whole mess. But we must remember that, whatever anyone else does or doesn’t do that may cause us pain, we still have the responsibility to look to God for wisdom and to make the choice to do what will glorify God in the situation.
I have no idea who will read this simple post. But likely the people who need it the most will find it too boring to bother with.
But, for the record, here is the Word of the Lord:
“Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices.” (Proverbs 1:20-31)
Did you hear that?
If so, and you continue to choose your way of foolishness instead of God’s way of wisdom, you cannot say that you were not warned. And I really don’t think you are going to like the eventual outcome.
So, will you choose God’s way? Or would you rather ruin everything?
I sure do wish I could get through to you. I wish I could persuade you to cry out to God. But that’s your call.
Meanwhile, by God’s grace, I’m staying in the battle.