But In the End.
“Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?” – Proverbs 5:13 NLT
Over in Proverbs 14:12 we read, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” That phrase “in the end” seems to pop up on a regular basis in the Proverbs. It refers to a day of accountability, not necessarily the day of the judgment of the Lord, but of a day of consequence. Every action has an outcome. Every path we take in life has a destination or an end. If a young man or woman chooses a life immorality, it will have an outcome, and probably not the one they were expecting. Sin never does. While “the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil – in the end she is as bitter as poison” (Proverbs 14:3-4 NLT). What looked so tempting and tantalizing didn’t turn out quite as advertised. One of the characteristics of foolishness or a lack of godly wisdom is the inability to foresee consequences. We are either oblivious to them or simple choose to ignore them. But more than likely, it is a case of ignorance. A child touches a hot stove because they don’t know any better. They are ignorant of the consequences. But there comes a time in all of our lives when we become aware of the consequences of sin and stubbornly continue to commit them. We think those consequences won’t apply to us. We refuse to consider “the end.” We choose to live in the pleasure of the present, putting off any consequences or simply refusing to believe there will be any negative ramifications for our actions. But to think that way is not only foolish, it’s deadly. We can end up losing everything – our honor, all we’ve achieved in life, the fruit of all our labor, the blessings of God, and the love and respect of those we once held dear. We will find ourselves sadly looking back at our actions and saying, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace” (Proverbs 5:12-14 NLT).
In the end, you will have regrets because the path you chose had consequences. But nobody thinks of the potential consequences when facing the alluring temptation of sin – except the godly. Those who know God and are equipped with His wisdom have the innate ability to see into the future and clearly see the outcome that accompanies wrong actions. They can see where each path ends up, and they know that only one path leads to life, joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment, and blessing. It is the path that God has chosen for us to walk.
Father, I need Your wisdom so that I might have discernment. This world can be a confusing and potentially deadly place if I don’t know how to choose well. I have so many options available to me, and they can all look so tempting. But I need skill in right living. I need the ability to choose wisely and well. Because every path has a destination. I want to walk Your path and choose Your way because it is the only one that ends well. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men