I read this verse in my time alone with God today: “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord” (Prov. 19:3 NLT). The NCV reads like this: “People’s own foolishness ruins their lives, but in their minds they blame the Lord.”
As I read this passage I thought about the many people I’ve talked with over the years who have made a series of bad choices with bad results – who couldn’t believe God would allow the consequences they were facing. They may have had good intentions, but the direction of their lives – the choices they actually made – we those that led to some of the consequences they faced. Even though many of these people would never verbalize it: “in their minds they blame the Lord.”
As I journaled a few notes on this and other verses, I remembered that my time alone with God is for me. So how does this verse apply to me? As I considered this passage the one area that came to mind was my health. I know that I am overweight and out of shape right now; the result of MY CHOICES. I need to eat healthy and I need to exercise more. It doesn’t matter how good my intentions are, if I don’t change my direction – there’s a good chance I won’t be able to serve the Lord as long as I’d like because of health issues resulting from my bad choices. If that happened, I could see how easy it might be to fall into the temptation of blaming God (at least in my mind). After all, I’ve given most of my adult life to following Christ and striving to share Him with others! However, that doesn’t free me from the principle found in Galatians 6:7 (you reap what you sow). So if your life is a mess and you’re tempted to blame God, honestly consider the decisions you’ve made that got you in the mess. Then make a wise decision; turn from the bad decisions and the good intentions, and move in a “wise” direction.
Just some Sunday afternoon ramblings. By the way – I highly recommend Andy Stanley’s new book: The Principle of the Path. It is a straightforward read about intention and direction; that our destiny is determined by our direction not our intention.