20/20 Hindsight. The “Right Ways” and The “Wrong Ways,” All the “Ways” that Seem So Right to Us. Proverbs 14:11-13

Proverbs 14:11-13 The Message

11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are run-down shacks;
    holy living builds soaring cathedrals.

12-13 There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough;
    look again—it leads straight to hell.
Sure, those people appear to be having a good time,
    but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

Gloria. In Excelsis Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Reflections: 20/20 Hindsight and Run Down Cabins in the Woods

Many of us have had moments when we have looked back on a past decision and wondered, “How did I ever think that was a good idea?”

Yet at the time, that decision or choice probably seemed right to us.

There’s a reason why people say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”

This means that you and I can often see a situation more clearly (as with 20/20 vision) after it has passed and you have had time to learn and also lament from some of the choices or lack of choices you have or have not made.

Our own ability to see clearly in the present moment is limited.

And what appears to be a right decision or right thinking in the moment can sometimes do more harm than good.

There is a reason why people also seriously lament that “Hindsight is 20/20.”

Paint a portrait “Hindsight is 20/20” for your living room wall might look strikingly, an infinity mirrored vision of one man looking at his own back.

illustration of man reflecting himself in the mirror, loop surreal concept

9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift. [Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 Message]

Solomon was a wise son who paid attention to his father, David.

He also sought to be a wise father by sharing his wisdom with his own sons and compiling his own set of righteous guidelines and the learned sayings of others, into a compendium, then, today, and tomorrow, is called the Book of Proverbs.

He did this to encourage his own children towards righteous living.

Reverence for the Lord our God and trust in His Word is the foundation upon which true wisdom is based and we in the Church age have discovered that in our Savior Christ Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Living and Learning from our wise and foolish choices in life are of a true and lasting benefit and these ‘Proverbs of Solomon’ are an amazing collection of maxims for profitable living – ancient learning from the wisest of the wise.

They cover an extraordinarily wide range of subject matter which can surely help the reader to prevent foolish behaviour and ungodly decisions in areas like relationships and friendships, laboring, working, finances, and a fruitful life.

This not only pleases God and demonstrates faith in His Word, but gives every day measured advice on peaceful living while avoiding troublesome situations.

Like much of the book of the Proverbs, Chapter 14 is written in couplets which contrast wise and foolish behaviour.

We read a wise woman builds her home, but the foolish woman tears it down; the one who walks in uprightness fears God, while the devious despises Him.

This chapter also compares and contrasts a trustworthy witness with a false one, bitterness with joy, also foolish and wise attitude towards sin, and the inevitable destruction of wicked men with the upright man, who will flourish.

In this verse the couplet has a poignant twist, demonstrating the truly chilling consequences of self-deception.

It explains that a bad decision… which may seem to be a good and wise choice from a human perspective, will in fact result in disaster.

“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

The collection of people in this proverb are deluded and devoid of true wisdom and understanding, which comes from God alone.

By falsely judging a situation to be beneficial, they find that the thing which appeared so enticing and which they thought was so right, had the opposite effect and only brought them to disaster. 

This saying is a ‘stand-alone’ truth that is applicable to every man, but in order to discover the godly way to go, the correct choices to make, the true path that leads to life and light, peace and hope… the entire book of Proverbs needs to be seriously taken into account for it records every aspect of living a godly life.

Perhaps the key to the entire book of Proverbs, upon which all every piece of good advice is founded, is the truth Solomon taught his son in chapter 3,

Proverbs 3:5-8 English Standard Version

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh[a]
    and refreshment[b] to your bones.

Guidance for godly and ungodly living can be found throughout these Proverbs and it is attributed to lifelong observations of Solomon – the wisest of the wise by God’s gift [1 Kings 3:5-15] but also the very pinnacle of fools [1 Kings 11:1-4]

Illustration of man, face hidden, looking down at the end of his life’s surreal path

Jesus also spoke to the interested, disinterested, about 20/20 hindsight …

20/20 Examining Our Faith and How We Choose to Look at Things

Matthew 6:25-34 New King James Version

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b] stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Six years ago, in the atrium of our church one Sunday, I noticed one of our senior members standing quietly.

Her face wasn’t happy, but it was welcoming. I understood the look of tiredness and concern he showed.

Her husband of 63 years had just recently passed away from Lung Cancer.

She told me her 60 year old son was battling several serious health issues.

At 88 years of age, it was obvious that her own health was not robust.

And yet he was there, at church among the worshipers.

I reached out to shake her hand and asked, “How are you doing?”

Her less-than-enthusiastic response: “Okay, I guess.”

After a pause she stated bluntly, “I don’t care about anything anymore.”

Caught by Surprise, I asked, “Nothing?”

She shifted a bit and then said, “There was a time when I liked boats and cars and lots of things.

I got excited about them.

They kept our family together, gave our lives genuine meaning,

But they don’t mean anything to me anymore.”

I began to understand.

Material things no longer grabbed her attention.

Desire for stuff no longer preoccupied her.

As her husband suffered for so long with cancer, lost his ability to relate to others, and as he increasingly depended on others to care for his every need, she had grown to know the wearing and weary­ing effects of caring for him.

That she had to sometimes also care for her ailing son at the same time,

Her outlooks and perspectives on life had drastically changed.

Things decreased in importance, and relationships—with God, with family, with church—became her priority.

This sister was learning more deeply the meaning of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and her quiet strength was truly heartwarming.

That at any age we should come to such a time in life where we are able to sit down long enough with ourselves and our Savior Jesus and seriously converse.

20/20 Hindsight … All Those Choices that Seemed Right to Us

Jesus warned his disciples that following him would not be easy or even look like a good idea at times.

He spoke about the costs of being his disciple, but he also promised that his way leads to life.

He said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

In other words, there will be many right and wrong choices that appear to be right (even religiously) and seem more attractive than the way of Jesus, but in the end they will bring grief and misery and destruction, poverty and despair.

We cannot just stop living life, making choices and making decisions simply because we fear for the future – we first line up all our infinite regrets in a row.

A spiritually stagnant Christian …

A steadfastly immovable, ice cold, immobile, spiritually stagnant Christian …

A steadfastly immovable, ice cold, immobile, spiritually stagnant Church …

Struggling mightily to rediscover their first choice, and how and why and where and when all salvation came by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must each be saved…  

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Hoy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Heavenly Father, thank You for my great salvation in Christ and that in Him is found all wisdom and knowledge. Thank You for the many principles and precepts that are so helpful and encouraging in the book of Proverbs. I pray that throughout my life, I would Come to more wisely apply its wise concepts and trust in You in all things, and not seek to choose to do anything according to my own limited understanding. Give me discernment I pray, keep me from all forms of self-delusion and self-deception. May I never be foolish enough to journey along the paths that may seem right to me but ends in destruction. Thank You that You have promised to guide my steps and may my ear be ever open to Your direction. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

Gloria. In Excelsis Deo. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

One Possible Choice When Choosing Your Source for Help In Daily Living


Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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