When We Fail, Who Do We Blame?

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:18, 20,21 NIV)

The Word provides us with much insight about wisdom and pride. Not only through the proverbs, but through James who says, “If any lack wisdom, ask of God who gives liberally and won’t upbraid (find fault with) us for asking” (James 1:5 paraphrased) It would appear from this simple statement that James understood all that was said about wisdom through the insight given to Solomon and other sages.

Wisdom is referenced as a  female in several places, but the female reference is also used to warn against adultery and other folly.

A wise person receives correction and instruction from wise counsel. Only a fool rebels against correction and instruction.

But who is wiser than God? No, not one human being is wiser than God. God gave Solomon wisdom and Solomon shared what God had given him, but he never assumed he was wiser than God.

Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV

vs. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

vs. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

vs. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

vs. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

vs. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

When we ask God for wisdom–insight to solving problems and addressing issues, we must not only hear what He says, but know how to apply what He says. For instance, we can obtain information and not know what to do with it and if we don’t know what to do with the information we have, what good is it?

If we establish guidelines and protocols to ensure order in all that we do, yet we do not follow the protocol and chaos erupts, what was the point of establishing the guidelines in the beginning?

Many motivational speakers, successful corporations–large and small–understand that without a sound plan and adherence to the plan–success is not possible.

Jesus tells us in another passage of scripture that,”a wise person considers the cost of building anything before they start to build.”(Luke 14:28 paraphrased).

On the flip side of exercising wisdom is the conduct of a fool who allows his pride to rule. And there is much said about fools in Proverbs,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV),

“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2 NIV)

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” (Proverbs 15:7 NIV)

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)

What I’m taking from all that is said about wisdom, knowledge and fools, is that if we don’t know God or know how to seek Him when making decisions, we set ourselves for failure because we allow our pride to keep us from seeking Him.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV)

Herein is the heart of the matter. When we think that our plans can succeed without wise counsel or consideration of all involved in the planning, our plans are doomed to failure. Though they may appear to succeed for a moment; the final outcome tells the whole story.

The difference between success and failure of any entity or individual lies in the ability one has to set aside pride (the “I” mentality) and to seek wisdom from wise counsel. If we do not think we need to heed wise counsel and instruction, then our failure is our own and we must look within to determine how we change the course of events.

Are we wise enough to seek God today for every decision we make or will we allow our pride to cause us to fail? We are the only ones who can make that decision for God does not make anyone do anything.

I pray God’s wisdom will overflow into your hearts today and pride will never be the reason for failure in any area of your lives.

Consider Your Ways!

“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5).

People are often amazed at the senseless violence, loss of life, destruction of families, and crimes of such magnitude that all we can do is simply shake our heads.

Inconsiderate people are incapable of thinking beyond the moment or about how their actions impact others. We see it all the time. Carelessness with campfires or even cigarette smoking–fires burning out of control, destroying property, taking lives, and ruining memories. Inconsiderate people drink and drive with no other thought other than to make themselves “feel good” when in actuality, they only feel worse. These people cause accidents-maiming and killing–and some never stop drinking and driving.

Inconsiderate people speed through neighborhoods--with no thought of children or others in wheelchairs or the elderly who cannot move as fast as they used to move. They hit people with cars and run from the scene like the cowards they really are. The cowards often leave people dead or dying and they do not care. They gave no thought to their actions.

Inconsiderate people are often greedy people who will stop at nothing to obtain what they want by any means. They rob people at gunpoint, with shovels, with knives, with threatening notes in banks and stores and care not one wit about how actions will leave a life time of tragedy in their wake.

Inconsiderate people think everyone around them wants to hear their loud, crass, raunchy music–so they play it loud enough to shake windows and interfere with other drivers and their ability to hear what is going on around them.

Inconsiderate people play pranks without thinking about all the possible consequences and some pranks have led to the death of people.

Inconsiderate people think the world evolves around them and therefore they have a right to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it and then they complain when they have to deal with the consequences of their actions. They have never learned to “consider their ways.”

If we want to see a change in the world, we must begin in our homes and learn to be considerate of others in all we do. Loving others will bring about consideration because we would do not harm those we love. Loving others leads to considering others above ourselves. So the lack of consideration demonstrates a lack of love among many. If we cannot love self, we cannot love others. Consider your ways–do your actions demonstrate love or do they demonstrate total inconsideration regarding others. Think-love-consider all so we can live in peace and harmony and families won’t have to mourn the loss of loved ones.