“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 15:31-33)
Throughout this incredibly brief lifetime you and I have been given choices, we can’t hide from the choices that must be made, some easy, and others life changing. Each one of those decisions moves our life for better or worse, or can end our lives in an instant all together. Life is balanced on the razor’s edge of the decisions we make. Yet most of us do not seek out healthy counsel when we are faced with these choices. Why? I have no idea. Maybe we have become so self-confident as a culture that we have actually lined up in the parade of fools, marching to the drummers of destruction with the devil as our Drum Major, deceived completely into thinking we have it all figured out. Or could it be we have been taught to be so self-sufficient as a culture, that our pride keeps us from reaching out for help? Whatever the reasons, the writer of Proverbs warns us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25) How’s that for some straight up, in your face truth? You and I have plans and those plans could destroy us and those close to us.
Now, some choices may seem harmless enough, but others have long, and sometimes often painful consequences. So why be a fool and risk it? Proverbs says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15) Again, he writes, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14) You and I are looking for fun, joy and adventure and often we don’t consider the danger of a life without boundaries. Is it possible that left alone, with no counsel to the contrary, we would lead a self-centered, self-obsessed and most days, self-motivated life on a fast track to destruction. If we want to have a long life full of goodness, we must listen to and seek out wise counsel. King Solomon also said, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.” (Proverbs 19:20)
Yet most of the time, unless otherwise directed by pain, difficulty or disaster, you and I continue to press on, doing life the way we see fit. All the while making excuse after excuse, blame shifting onto others, or denying the reality of the immensity of our failure, as we reap the harvest that we have sown by our quick and often self-obsessed decision. We can look back knowing we should have done things differently. Laughing it off as if to say the discomfort we are experiencing is not a big deal, yet we are slowly suffocating while trapped inside a personal emotional maze of our own doing.
The choices we make are important. We all, I am sure, have some choices we are trying to make in our lives right now. So, will we continue to do this all in our own strength or will we reach out to God our Savior and others for help? God wants what is best for us, although sometimes it may not seem like the option with the most fun or thrills. Trust me, God’s best is our best. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) So we have a choice to make. Stay where we are or reach out for some help. So, God’s best, or our best? The choice is up to you.