This one is for the guys…

Posted: February 15, 2014 in Thoughts from the Elders
Proverbs 4:20-27
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 
Let them not escape from your site; keep them within your heart. 
For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.

Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. 

This one is for you guys out there.  I’ve had some men in my life who I admire and respect tell me that they read one chapter in Proverbs each day. It’s their daily devotional. It’s chock-full of wisdom, it’s short, and when you get to the end of the month you simply start over. So this year I’m on my second round of Proverbs, and this time through, something new jumped out at me.

Have you ever been tempted to justify a decision you knew was contrary to Gods will for your life because, frankly, things have been unfair or difficult lately? I certainly have. Life is hard. Life is unfair. It seems as though sometimes we face tough consequences despite making the right decisions. Well, our Father addresses this for us in Proverbs. You know what He says? Keep on keeping on! Don’t listen to that voice that says ,”life is hard and you didn’t deserve that, so it’s okay if you want to ________.” (Fill in the blank with whatever sin appeals to you).

No, God tells us to seek wisdom and to ponder the direction of our footsteps. In other words, don’t just mindlessly move forward. Stop and think about what you’re doing. Make the right decision. Yes, life can be hard and sometimes it seems like we would be justified to make a poor decision. But I think we’ve all seen it many times. Somebody wallowing in self-pity and having a tough life only makes it worse by telling themselves they somehow deserve to give in to temptation and to indulge in the flesh. Frankly, we do deserve what we get (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). A few good decisions don’t mean we deserve a life free of hardship, but I think the wisdom to be found in this part of Proverbs is that it only gets worse if we give up and sabotage ourselves. Lets consider our true circumstances, that God loved us so much He gave us everything we could ever need or want (John 3:16).

And consider Proverbs 4:20-27 today, because who ever made his life better by allowing self-pity to wreck his decisions?  It’s a downward spiral. Besides, God promises us that when we seek Him and ponder our way, it will lead to healing and life.  The reward for being vigilant with our hearts and being committed to Him is worth the trouble we sometimes face!

So stay strong and lift up a brother in prayer and with an encouraging word today!

Written by Mitch Ratzlaff – GCC Elder


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