In life we think there are few guarantees outside of taxes and death, but I’m here to tell you that there are more. These guarantees may not kill you or cause you a hospital stay, but they will jack up your life. The wisest man in the world Solomon shares these words in Proverbs 4.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.”
– Proverbs 4:25-27
You’ve heard it said to “watch you step” and this is a great way to sum up this Proverb. When we decide to not mind where we are walking it usually leads us to a minefield of disaster. Although this Proverb is written in the affirmative and gives wisdom of what TO do to avoid struggles, there is also wisdom in reading it in the negative and looking at what could happen if you DON’T follow his instruction.
I believe reading between these lines Solomon outlines 3 ways to screw up your life.
1. “Let your eyes look straight ahead fix your gaze directly before you.” v. 25
A great way to see your life tail spin is to take your eyes off of God and believe what other people, places, or things are better than Him. We live in a world of instant gratification. Even churches aren’t immune to this reality. People will hop churches when something doesn’t fit them, someone doesn’t smile at us, the music is too loud, or the pastor wears jeans. But our daily lives are this way too and when we choose to lose sight of the path God has laid out for us we will stumble and will fall…sometimes hard. So if you want to screw up your life believe that she “understands you” better than your wife, buy into his smooth words that he will be your knight in shining armor, cut the corners at work, and have another drink or 7. Or if you want a life that avoids evil and unnecessary challenges stay on God’s path, fix your eyes on Him, and don’t get distracted.
2. “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” v. 26
I don’t know about you, but I’ve often found myself in messes asking the question “How in the world did I get here?” It’s the same sensation we get while driving on a long road trip and realizing we don’t remember the last 10-15 miles worth of road we travelled. This happens in life too if we don’t stay present in the moment and in tune with the direction God has for us. We can’t afford to let our minds wander or take a break from God’s plan. Taking a break allows time for Satan to make up the distance we’ve created by following God and believe me if he gets a head of steam he will hit you like a freight train. If you want to screw up your life take a break from following God’s plan. Stop serving your wife, become selfish with your time, stop going to church, look out for your interests first, and look for quick gratification. These are guaranteed to throw your life off course, but if you don’t find that appetizing I’d tell you to “keep your head”. Consider yourself an addict of sin which means you never can afford to stop God therapy or you will relapse. It’s true what they say “once an addict always an addict”.
3. “Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” v. 27
One of if not THE best way to screw up your life is to believe Satan cares about you. Let me be blunt. The only thing Satan cares about is killing you and he will do it however he can. When we start being lulled into believing that Satan has our best interests in mind we will do all kinds of things because they all sound so good! Cheating on your wife, having another drink, messaging your ex-boyfriend on Facebook, staying a little later at work (again), checking that website one more time, or anything else your mind can imagine sound amazing coming from a sweat talking Satan. If you want to screw up your life believe Satan cares about. Of course you could decide to believe that God loves you far more than you can imagine. The proof of that is the Son he gave up so that you wouldn’t have to be apart from Him by His grace. To me that seems like a love and commitment I want to stay connected to and not a two-faced Satan.
Listen, it’s your life. You can live it however you feel. God has given you free will as proof of that fact. If you want to sin you may, but understand that path has a pain and destruction littered all along the ditches.
But what God wants for you is far different. Sure, His path may be a little dusty and winding, but in the end where you end up and what you’ve accomplished will be worth it.
Don’t screw up your life by stepping on the sweet smelling, well paged, wide path of evil. Save your life by following God’s plan, keep your eyes fixed on him, stay the course, and live life to the full!