Words to live by | Online journal of Marc Heriot

The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. Proverbs 12:5 NIV

Plans, or thoughts, from Strongs also means: cunning work, curious work, imagination, invented, means, purpose, thought. There are times, and today is one of them, that I question my plans — the way that I am thinking or evaluating a situation. When I do this, I feel uncertainty. When I don’t, I feel confidence. Since feeling confidence is a good thing, should I stop questioning? Yet whose thought process is perfect? And which thought is the crumbling stone that part of my home is built upon (and I experience situations that make me feel as though I teeter)? I recognize that headstrong confidence is not the goal, but rather learning, knowing, being teachable, and being able to be corrected. These things have a higher value to me.

Then I read this proverb which declares that my plans or thoughts are just. The Hebrew indicates just or right in a legal sense — as pronounced by the law, or judge. They are headed in the right direction. For those plans that are not, my Father will address them. But the overwhelming bulk of them are built on honoring my God. Loving him first. Allowing my life to be exposed to his presence, his thought, his scrutiny, and his correction. Also, the people of God provide a good sounding board as well… not perfect, but good.

On the other hand, the counsel or advice (steerage with ropes) of the wicked is deceit. The goal they seek is the result, not the journey. There is higher value in manipulating the facts, the truth, the circumstances in order to achieve a “higher good.” And to one who has little regard for morals or my Father, “higher” is always a self-based, self-proceeding judgment about situational ethics and self-serving goodness — with a heavy emphasis on me.

There are two paths, righteous or wicked. There are two motivations, justice or deceit. Yes or no. Black or white. Good or bad. Not all situations are framed up this clearly, but in the end, I must make a choice — and I have. Now I trust that my plans are just, good, and guided by my Father.

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