The majority of preaching and Christian counseling in our day has degenerated to a “feel good” ideology that mimics secular humanism’s focus on reformation as opposed to the theological doctrine of salvation and Biblical transformation. Sadly, the majority of “Christian counselors” are busy addressing feelings, perceptions and “baggage”, at the neglect of a straightforward declaration that at the heart of man’s problems is a problem of the heart!
Solomon recognized the danger of failing to direct a man in the “way of understanding” [the path of godly wisdom that upholds God’s Law] and stated unequivocally such a man will “remain in the congregation of the dead”–
Proverbs 21:16 – “The man that wandereth [err; astray] out of the way [road; journey] of understanding [wise; proper; prudent] shall remain [rest; cease] in the congregation [company; assembly] of the dead.”
Sinners do not need reformation from feelings of guilt and bad behavior; they need a total transformation made possible through faith in Christ’s death for their sins, burial and resurrection from the dead (1 John 5:13)! Reject Christ and Proverbs 21:16 is your reality—you will be numbered among those lost souls bound for hell. Turn to Christ as your Savior and the apostle Paul promises:
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Proverbs 21:17 addresses a malady that has become a 21st century experience.
Proverbs 21:17 – “He that loveth [craves; strong emotional attachment] pleasure [joy; mirth; foolishness] shall be a poor [want; lack; need; deficient] man: he that loveth [craves; strong emotional attachment] wine [intoxicating; leading to drunkenness] and oil [perfume; ointment; fattening – i.e.olive] shall not be rich [abundance].”
The idea of leisure was not a reality for the common man until the last 150 years with the birth of the industrial age. Only the aristocracy had the time or means to indulge in leisure and its proclivity for pleasures, drunkenness and rich foods. The average man labored from sunrise to sunset to provide food and shelter for his loved ones. Work, not pleasure defined his daily regimen.
The industrial age, followed by the computer age, has made leisure and pleasures not only an aspiration, but also an expectation of our society. The inherent temptations of a gluttonous, hedonistic society have made drunkenness and obesity a curse of our day. The common man is poor—poor in character, enslaved to intoxicants and mind-numbing drugs…eating his way to an early grave.
The world glamorizes sin and mocks the way of the righteous; however, God promises…walk in My way, delight in My law and you will prosper!
Psalm 1:1-3 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith