Years ago Mary and I had a beautiful boat. Each time we went to board the boat, we would see her name written in beautiful script across the stern: “No Excuses.” Those provocative words made us pause and think whether or not we had completed all of our tasks and responsibilities before enjoying the pleasure of a trip around the lake. It also reminded us of the fact that to be honorable Christians: If we failed our Lord or denied Him for any reason, we had “No Excuses.”
“A man’s own folly ruins his life,” are a few great words to think about often. Here’s why: Our outward behaviors are always a reflection of the values that we store deep within our hearts. And here Solomon emphasizes an important, often overlooked fact: unless our decision-making and problem-solving skills are God-centered, we will lack sound judgment. Why? Because the knowledge or wisdom or understanding does not come from God. When we go our own way without comparing or contrasting what we are doing in light of God’s published directions, there may be problems and serious consequences. And if there are, unfortunately, we have “No Excuses.”
Here is a proverb that reinforces another proverb: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” Our folly - trusting our distorted instincts rather than the wisdom of our God - does not make sense if we are His followers. We have access to Him and His promises. Fools, by choice, destroy whatever opportunity God gives them by looking within for their guidance rather to Him.
Fools become their own undoing because they refuse to take any responsibility for their behavior and follow God’s wisdom. Their “heart rages against the Lord.” Their lives become “frustrated” or “mangled” when their best-laid plans end up in disaster because they are contrary to His will. The result? Fools respond by “raging” like an angry, caged lion who cannot escape.
Prayer: Lord, we have “no excuse” to offer You when we refuse to accept Your wisdom. We have whatever guidance we need in Your Word. Open our heads and hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 19:3 A man’s own folly ruins his life yet his heart rages against the Lord.