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Monday, April 11, 2011

Ruining your own life

2 Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.  3 People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed? 
(Proverbs 19:2-3)

Ever hear someone say, "Why did God let this happen to me?"  It is a natural question to ask whenever something bad happens in life.  We somehow feel that we did not "deserve" this moment of disappointment, season of loss, or depth of difficulty that we are experiencing.  Solomon gives us insight into how these "bad things" sometimes come into our life exclusive of God "doing" anything to orchestrate them.  He tells us that it is our own ignorant zeal - hasty decisions, careless answers, silly compromises - that get us into the "soup" we are in.  Uh oh...now the truth is revealed!  People ruin their own lives and God gets the blame for our own silliness - that is what he puts forth to us in this passage.  So, rather than asking why God allowed something to happen, we might do well to examine what was in our own heart that lead to this result!

8 Grow a wise heart—you'll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you'll find a good life. 
(Proverbs 19:8)

A wise heart is both the result of taking advantage of learning from what God provides as direction for our lives and of determining what is beneficial in our pursuits.  People with good sense restrain themselves.  Restraint is one of the most difficult things for us to learn.  Restraint is nothing more than having a system of "checks & balances" by which we "run through" a decision before taking action.  In the end, the results are usually better because they have been thought through with some level of consciousness.  Our thinking is often clouded by whatever is the most demanding thing in our life that day - it could be the needs around the house, the chaos at the office, or the inner turmoil of emotions on edge.  Solomon reminds us that we need a "clear head" in order to process life correctly (with wisdom).  

It takes time to "clear your head" - haste does not give us the "time" we need for the decisions of the day.  When we compromise the investment of time, we compromise the outcome of the decision.