My Way or The Highway (Proverbs 16)

We feel so strongly and insistent about the way things should be: "My way or the highway is surely the best way!" But Proverbs 16 tells us some foundational truths.

16:1 "To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply..."

16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

No matter what we propose (1a,9a), it is God who disposes (1b,9b). For "The Lord has made everything for its purpose" (16:4). We may think that our heart and motives are pure and right, "but the Lord weighs the spirit (motives)" (16:2). Whether we like it or not, all things are under God's sovereignty and serve His purposes. Therefore, the wise approach to life is to "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established" (16:3). Though Jesus pleaded to his Father to take away his unbearable cup of sorrow and death, he said, "yet not my will, but yours be done" (Lk 22:42).

16:32 "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." It takes an exceptional mighty man and leader to conquer a city. But the greater man is one who is able to exercise self-control and not lose his temper or lose his spirit during a time of weakness, temptation, crushing disappointment, or unexpected crises (14:17,29). Even just in terms of patience and forbearance, Jesus is the greatest man.

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