“No one, regardless of how shrewd or well-advised he is, can stand against the Lord.” Proverbs 21:30

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

No chance . . . there is no substitute for God, nor can we compete against Him. He knows what is right, what is best, and what will work. The sooner we accept Him as the final authority and begin to structure our lives, business and country after His laws and principles, the better off we’ll be. Life is not meant to be difficult - we make it difficult by operating on defiled motives. Motive means the reason or motivation for how and why we do things. Some lie, cheat and manipulate in order to get a deal, and then call it "being shrewd." This does not lead us to the good life, but to moral decay. Webster says shrewd is "worldly wise, clever or near to the truth." So it is important that we always seek for the truth. Manipulating the truth or being clever or shrewd will eventually destroy us.

Jesus said there is a broad way that leads to destruction, but also a narrow one that leads to life, or we could say "The truth will make us free." He designed life to make us grow. A child needs to eat to live and grow; likewise, our minds and spirits need to learn (eat) in order to grow. But we have to live on truth, or we’ll become shrewd. If a child stops eating, he dies; in the same way, if we quit learning truth, we die spiritually, mentally and eventually physically. It’s like riding a bike - when we stop, we fall. When an apple is green, it is growing; but when it stops growing, it rots. So life is a process, and if we want the good life, we must continue to strive for these three things:

1. To become morally correct.

2. To understand people and situations.

3. To grow in the knowledge of God and His laws, and the principles He designed for humanity.

The good life starts when our motives are pure and we follow good principles, taking responsibility for who and what we are. We are like a product: our quality and value is based on the principles of which we are made. When we are honest and our motives are pure, we become open and free with no hidden agendas. People will sense the freedom and will not defend themselves against us. They will respect us and will want to do business with us. We cannot trust in our own smarts or shrewdness; if we do, we will be exposed when we get under pressure. Yes, we must be well advised, but we must see truth and God as our best resource and advisor. This will teach us common sense and practical ways that will work in every area of our lives. Sometimes we educate ourselves until we consider ourselves shrewd and wise. Then we start trusting in our own abilities rather than in God’s good advice, and become fools without God. We cannot function properly without the truth. It will keep our motives pure. To reject God and His ideas is like cutting off the hand that feeds us, for God and Truth are synonymous.

Today, America has more attorneys per capita than any other country in the world. We have more lawsuits than the rest of the world combined. We write thousands of laws to interpret the ten commandments. Some try to outwit each other by their shrewdness, or get ahead by some million-dollar lawsuit. We have forgotten the simplicity of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Let’s not kid ourselves. God knows all about our doings, and sooner or later He will set the record straight in spite of how shrewd or well-advised we may think we are. It is important to be well-advised, but let’s make sure our motives are pure and use God’s good advice as a part of our dealings and decision-making. Let’s be wise and listen to what God has to say. Then, we will not be known for being smart or shrewd - but wise.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
Hard work is the key to success, some would rather pick the lock..