How are you doing with those New Year's resolutions you made? Maybe you didn't make any to avoid any failure. But then, that's just failure by default.
Plans and goals can be good things, as long as they're attainable and beneficial. But how do you know?
Nowadays, lots of people offer advice, some for free and some for a fee. But how trustworthy or practical is this advice?
Sometimes, the plans we make with our mind are sabotaged by the plans of our heart.
The plans of the heart belong to humans, but an answer on the tongue comes from the LORD. A person thinks all his ways are pure, but the LORD weighs motives. Entrust your efforts to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. [vss 1-3]
By mercy and faithfulness, peace is made with the LORD. By the fear of the LORD, evil is avoided. When a person’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better a few [possessions] gained honestly than many gained through injustice. A person may plan his own journey, but the LORD directs his steps. [vss 6-9]
Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall. Better to be humble with lowly people than to share stolen goods with arrogant people. Whoever gives attention to the LORD’s word prospers, and blessed is the person who trusts the LORD. There is a way that seems right to a person, but eventually it ends in death. [vss 18-20, 25]
(Proverbs 16:1-3, 6-9, 18-20, 25 GW) [Context– Proverbs 16]
Key phrase— A person thinks all his ways are pure, but the LORD weighs motives
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What insight is given to us about motives and plans, and God's guidance with them?
What are the ways we can find peace and escape evil and heartache?
What are the pitfalls of pride? What are the benefits of humility?
Why is it hard for us to know the difference between our self-motivated plans and God's guidance?
Intellect is not the same as wisdom. A person can be intelligent and diligent, yet unsuccessful with their plans. When a person gains wisdom—insight and understanding— it enables them to see things with a better perspective.
Arrogance could be described as a combination of pride and ignorance. Arrogance distorts a person's view of the world and people around them. Humility and respect, especially a healthy fear of God, open doors of opportunity, and provide for a better perspective on the world and people.
When our heart is filled with ourself, with our motives left unchecked, we're headed on a destructive course of life. When we listen to God's wisdom and allow Him to guide us, the road ahead is sound.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again to consider and answer the following questions
Do you seek out wisdom from God when making plans, or just ask Him to bless what you think is best?
Do you have contentment and peace in life, or anxiety and frustration?
How have you learned from past failures, and plans that didn't turn out well?
What direction is your life headed in now? Are you willing to make any course adjustments with the Lord's help?