Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.Proverbs 16:20 (NLT)
I have a pet-peeve (a thing that drives me nuts) that turns me from happy-go-lucky Chad into Hulk-smash Chad (I get really angry). It usually occurs when I’m driving. No, it’s not when someone cuts me off, or refuses to use their turn signal – though those can get on my nerves. It’s when I get lost. Whether the GPS runs me into a dead-end street (Google maps ain’t perfect), someone gave me bad directions, or I simply decided I could find the way, when I get stuck somewhere, my temperature rises and I lash out in some very ugly ways. Ok, time to be honest. Generally, when I get lost, it’s of my own making. I decide to take a shortcut (which may or may not exist), or I decide to “feel my way” though the town. I usually end up stuck somewhere. And, of course, as a man, I can’t ask anyone for directions. So, I fume. And, when I fume, I generally blame everyone but myself for my situation. I know, it’s very immature. Welcome to my life.
In our Christian walk, we often times do the same thing. We decide to go it alone, to ignore the God-given directions, and hit a dead-end. Of course, rather than blaming ourselves, we cast our blame on others, including God. “Why didn’t you keep me from…” is our cry. In reality, it is 100 percent our fault for the consequence to our actions. For example, “Why didn’t you keep me from going out with that boy who was only interested in my body?” Or, “Why didn’t you keep me from getting addicted to pain killers?” Or, “Why didn’t you keep me from watching porn in the first place?” It’s easy to cast blame. Unfortunately, the blame lies squarely with each of us.
As our verse today states, “Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.” In other words, when we follow God’s instructions from the outset, we will live a blessed, prosperous life. Why? Because He tries to keep us from dumb moves, or so-called “short-cuts.” But, it is up to us to decide whether or not we will trust His instructions.
Want peace? Trust His ways. Want joy? Follow His lead? Want to know His instructions? Dig into the Bible and pray for the Spirit’s leading. His directions are always correct.