A person’s own folly (foolishness) leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord. Proverbs 19:3
When I was in college I remember sitting by a young lady who just loved Professional Wrestling. You know the form of athletic performance art with theatrical events and lots of shouting, not the sport of wrestling. She could tell you in great detail about the striking attacks, holds, throws and acrobatic maneuvers that she had witnessed while attending the recent matches. One day while she was telling me about what had happened last night during the wrestling match we received our graded science papers. That is when I saw her completely change. She had received a failing grade and she was furious. She became so angry at the teacher. She said things about him under her breath and in her mind he could do “nothing right” during that semester. Her reaction is still vivid in my mind. She began hating this professor because he had given her a grade that indicated her level of knowledge on the material. She completely removed herself from the equation. She put all the blame on the professor, but did not see that her lack of interest and absence from study was the cause of her grade.
Today we are exploring Proverbs 19. Verse 3 reminds us that oftentimes we are the ones deciding how our lives will go. God has created the world with governing principles and laws that manage the earth. Human beings are given free will so there is cause and effect from our actions. We might think of it as sowing and reaping. As Galatians teaches us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (6:7) Rewards or negative consequences are the result of our actions. I think this statement says it best: If you don’t like the harvest you are reaping, check the seed you are sowing.
There are repercussions of our actions, but we want God to rescue us from the pain and consequences of our bad decisions. Many times we must experience the real pain to move us to the point where we desire to make lasting change.
Now there are many troubles that we will encounter in this fallen world and many of them we have no control over, but the advice of Proverbs is addressing the areas of our life that we can control. God is on our side and He wants us to make the best decisions. He provides correction through the scripture and if we want to be wise (and avoid a lot of pain and drama) we should follow it. Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise (verse 20).
By Rebecca Dauksas