Avoiding the Path to Poverty

Today’s words of wisdom come from Proverbs Chapter 23, verses 19-21 and reveals to us the path to poverty and away from a fruitful life. 

“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”

Have you ever found yourself in a point in your life where you asked yourself “How did I get here?“  The answer is simple and clear. We are where we are because of the road we’ve been traveling. Ignorance of where the road leads does not change the fact that you will arrive at the end of the particular road we are traveling.

In ‘The Principle of the Path: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be‘  by Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Church, opens with a story of how he and a friend, Louie Giglio, were traveling on a road that was marked for construction.

Young and in a hurry, they think they can save some time if they ignored the detour signs and travel straight through on a road they knew well.  Trouble was that road was about to end abruptly, which is why the detour was necessary. If they had not been advised by some other motorist (on the road for other reasons), Andy Stanley and his friend would never have been alive to write any books.

“One never accomplishes the will of God by breaking the law of God, violating the principles of God, or ignoring the wisdom of God.” – Andy Stanley, The Principle of the Path

In today’s scripture, the first instruction is ‘...be wise…‘ and then ‘...guide thine heart...’ Your response might be to say, ‘But I thought we should follow our heart.”  According to Jeremiah 17:9, following one’s heart can be determental.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Proverbs 23:19 says to ‘…guide thine heart…’ In other words, steer your heart. And what should be avoided if you want to live a fruitful, prosperous life? Drunkeness, gluttoness,  and lazinessness are what follows the instruction.

Engaging in these three characteristics results in poverty. Avoiding these things, especially during stressful times, takes discipline – it takes an effort on our part to ‘…guide thine heart...’ and steer clear of the path to poverty.

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