Choices Have Consequences.
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” – Proverbs 4:7 NLT
Choosing to live wisely has its benefits, and the Proverbs lists them all. The wise life results in good judgment, guidance, protection, greatness, honor, good life, straight paths, light for the journey, the key to life, and healing, just to name a few. But we can all choose to reject the way of wisdom and find ourselves living like fools, and there are consequences that come with refusing wisdom. “But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over” (Proverbs 4:19 NLT). That sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it? But think about it. If we refuse to live wisely, according to God’s way, then we lack good judgement, we have no guidance, we find ourselves outside the protection of God, our lives are not marked by greatness and honor, our paths are crooked and difficult, and we find ourselves walking in darkness.
Oh, we may see individuals who are not Christ-followers who appear to be happy and successful, living care-free lives and enjoying what appear to be many of the benefits of a life of wisdom. But looks can be deceiving. What we fail to recognize and realize is that the benefits of wisdom are more internal than they are external. Walking according to God’s way does not promise a life without difficulty or days without sorrow. But God does promise to give us the guidance we need and the peace required to make it through. He gives us light for the journey because the way can often times be dark and dangerous. He gives us good judgment, because too often we are faced with the task of making difficult decisions. He provides us with healing because we can become sick and weakened by constant exposure to the sin of this world. But those who choose to live foolishly, refusing to walk according to the wisdom of God, will always find themselves at a loss when tragedy strikes or times of difficulty come. Their possessions and prosperity will prove incapable of providing what they need. Their success will do little to help them survive. Choosing to live life without the wisdom of God will always have consequences. That’s why Solomon warns us, “Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the straight path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil” (Proverbs 4:26-27 NLT). To follow evil is to reject God or refuse to live according to His terms. It is not referring to a life of complete and total debauchery. Wickedness is not talking about a life marked by pure evil. The wicked are those who are guilty of sin and hostile toward God. They live in opposition to God. They reject His way and walk according to their own agenda and obey their own rules. They live lives that are unpleasing to God, because their lives are not lived according to His desires. And their decision to live that way always has consequences. Living life according to God’s terms is a choice – a daily choice. Seeking His wisdom and applying it to our lives is a lifelong endeavor. Applying His good judgment to the decisions of life is a daily requirement. But it has its benefits. It will bring life, peace, joy, guidance, direction, comfort, and enough light to guide our next step.
Father, help me to understand that my choices have consequences. Sometimes it is so easy to forget. I can convince myself that everything will work out just find, no matter what choice I make. But only a life marked by wisdom has benefits. Only living according to Your way results in blessing. Never let me forget that. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men