Wisdom for the New Year

I came across a passage of the bible a few hours to the end of last year and it seemed to stand out embossed as I read it. Proverbs 19:3 in the New Living Translation reads “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.” As I pondered on this verse of scripture, I began to wonder how many persons in those few hours left for the year to end were busy blaming God for failing to help them achieve the numerous plans and goals they had for the year, little knowing that they were the architect of their misfortune.

It is always so easy to play the blame game. We see God, our parents, spouse, partners, friends, co-workers, etc as responsible for our failures or inability to achieve certain set goals. Rarely do we turn the searchlight inwards by considering our ways to see areas we had gone out of line, either by acting wrongly or failing to act altogether. Rarely do we place ourselves on the scale and hold ourselves responsible for our foibles. The cycle of blame games have really gotten no one anywhere. The journey to achieving our life goals will always begin with taking responsibility for whatever outcomes we get from our numerous efforts.

From this scripture in Proverbs, it is clear that foolishness always leads to ruin. Irrespective of God’s desire to help, when we walk in foolishness God’s hands are tied because he never violates our volition – our right to choose how to live our lives. But the reality is always that we cannot run away from the consequences of our choices. Living in foolishness and expecting God to do a miracle is like eating our cakes and expecting to have them back.

Nobody is immune from foolishness though. There is always a measure of foolishness in us because we are imperfect and fallible. However, there is always room for constant improvement. You are most likely to act foolishly in the area of your ignorance or recklessness. The cure for foolishness therefore is acquiring the right knowledge and walking in wisdom.

As this new year begins, this is a time for self evaluation and assessment. It is time to take stock of the results we have to show for our labours of the last year. Could it be that in certain areas, we labored foolishly and ended up with no rewards? Insanity has been defined as doing things the same way but expecting a different result. We all have areas of our lives that beg for change. This year will not be so different unless we deliberately choose to be pragmatic and change our lifestyle, our attitudes, our habits, our jobs or vocation, etc where necessary.

So, what am I advocating? I’m simply saying it is time to stop doing things your way and blaming God for the adverse effect. It is rather time to start doing things God’s way. God is interested in every area of our lives and is readily available and willing to play a part in our decision making on a daily basis. Rather than beginning this new year on the gear of self will and turning around mid-way to ask “Oh God, where are you?” it is wisdom to involve God from the beginning.

It will amaze you how concerned God is about the minutest details of your life and affairs. “I know the thoughts that I think towards you; thoughts of good and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 11:29). If God is thinking about you so much, why not give him a chance to play a part in your decision making and goal setting for this new year. It hurts us so much when we make great plans for our wards and loved ones and they turn around to mess up our plans. It hurts even more when at last they begin to blame us for their failures. But that’s exactly how we’ve been treating God.

God is not only thinking about us, He is willing to guide us along the best pathway for our lives. That is what the scripture says in Psalm 32:8 (NLT). It is wisdom to take some time out alone with God and hear what He would say to you and what advice He has for you. There is no better time to learn from the life of Prophet Habakkuk. “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected. Then the Lord answered me and said:  ‘write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.’” (Habakkuk 2: 1-2)

I charge you at this critical time of a new beginning to position yourself alone with God and sincerely seek His face. He will open your eyes to see and capture the right vision for your life. A vision He can be part of; a vision that you can pursue and see tangible results that you will be proud of. I pray that as you take your journey into this new year, you will walk in wisdom by following the divine mandate for your life. May you have no reason to repeat the blame game again this year. God bless you.



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