Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.Proverbs 4:5 (NLT)
There was a pop song from the early 2000s that climbed the charts all the way up to the number one position. It was a song by a young woman who had risen to stardom very rapidly. Her name was Britney Spears, and the song was called “Oops, I Did It Again!” If you’ve ever heard it, it is one of those earworms (a song that can get stuck in your head). Musically it isn’t great. Vocally it doesn’t really have any complexity to it. So, why did this song find such success? Because the lyrics, the concept of the song resonated with a lot of people.
The song is about a girl who keeps giving her heart, her love, her affections to a particular boy. But, then she just ends up playing games with his emotions. She realizes she’s not treating him well, and that it’s not right to do so. But, she just can’t seem to shake the impulse to toy with his love life. So, the “oops” is a statement about her inability to learn from her mistakes.
The unfortunate reality is that this sort of thing happens every day in our own lives. No, we might not toy with other people’s emotional well-being (If you are, you need to stop). But, all of us have made the same mistakes over and over again. We keep going back to the same thing over and over thinking it will somehow turn out differently. It doesn’t.
King Solomon imparts some wisdom on this topic when he writes, “Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.” Let me put this in a different way, “Wise up! Don’t keep making the same mistakes. Learn from them.” Much like the young man in Britney’s song that keeps going back to a girl who is just playing him, we need to learn that what Satan tempts us with is no good. It will never be good, no matter how bad we wish it was. His intentions are evil, not born out of love (and they never will be).
This is why God’s instructions are so powerful. They aren’t temptations, they are hard fast, wisdom-giving rules that will help us avoid mistakes that will hurt our character, hurt others, and ultimately hurt our relationship with our Creator. They aren’t born out of evil like temptations. They are born out of eternal love. There are no “oops” when it comes to God’s instructions. He’s not into playing games. He’s into saving people from themselves.