Avoiding Life's Shipwrecks

“For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster” (Proverbs 1:32-33).

No one avoids making some mistakes, and everyone can point to things they regret doing or saying. But we can avoid making a complete mess of our lives by listening to God’s counsel and wisdom. Let’s take a closer look at the two verses above.

The “simple” in the Bible are those who reject God’s will for their life. The simple are not less smart, but they are certainly less wise. They do not seek God, therefore they do not acquire wisdom for living.

The complacent lack the desire to pursue a godly life, but instead take the easy path of least resistance. Unfortunately for them, it ends up destroying them. Complacent people lack the drive and initiative to move forward with God. They end up reaping the whirlwind of disappointment because they never exerted the effort to learn about God.

But God promises some rich blessings to those who seek Him. First of all, they will “dwell secure.” Having built their lives on a sure foundation, they need not fear when the winds kick up and beat upon their house. God will protect them and walk with them, even through the shadow of the valley of death (Psalms 23:4).

Those who walk with God will not “dread” disaster. Why should they fear when they walk with God all day long? God’s Spirit fills us with love and peace, and rids us of fear:

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).

We tend to get “off course” so gradually we barely notice it. It often begins with a series of “harmless” compromises, such as neglecting church. Then we repeat it. Finally it’s no longer a “big deal” to miss church. Many actions form a habit, and habits form a character, and a character forms a life.

Some places experience natural disasters they could not avoid. But we all can avoid “life disaster” brought on by our neglecting God. Our wisdom is to cleave to God and draw near to Him. He will not forsake or abandon us.


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