The focus of this devotion is on Proverbs 19:1-6.
Let me tell you a parable. There once was a man who wanted to get to the top of a building. He carefully selected the perfect ladder for the job. It was a very tall, strong ladder, and would take a great deal of time to climb. In preparation, he set the ladder on a good spot, and secured it carefully. He made sure the ladder reached the top of the building, and made sure it was placed on the best side. He raised the ladder to the perfect height. He then began to climb carefully up the ladder. He stopped on the fourth rung to make sure the ladder was secure. He then stopped on the fourteenth rung to look at the people below. As he went up farther, he stopped again when he was high enough to get a view of the city below, and notice the beauty. But most of all, he was very careful about climbing. He worked very hard to rise up the ladder properly, without mistakes or problems. Then finally the time came. He got to the top. What an accomplishment! He had made it! He looked below and noticed that the people seemed much smaller. He looked on the horizon and noticed the sun going down on the horizon. It was awesome. But then he looked across the street, and was horrified at what he noticed. The building across the street. . . was the building he was supposed to climb! He had the right ladder but climbed the wrong building! What was he to do. It was too late to go back and start over today. The work he needed to do on that building couldn’t be done on the building he had climbed. What a tragedy, to work so hard on the climb, only to realize that your ladder is on the wrong building.
This parable represents the plight of many people in this world. They spend their life climbing a ladder that will get them to the top. They seek after money, power, and position. They are careful to plan everything, making sure they will be in the right place at the right time. They may even lie at times if it accomplishes their goal. Many of them even reach the top. They end it all at the top of the world. But then, all of a sudden, when it’s too late to change the course, when the sun is setting, they realize that they have spend their life climbing the right ladder, but it was against the wrong building. They might have all the wealth, and gained power over people. But when it’s all done, those things won’t matter. This is exactly what the writer warns about in Proverbs 19:2.
The writer of Proverbs was writing primarily to teenagers, who had most of their lives ahead of them. If you are a young person, the warnings of Proverbs are full of truth about climbing the right building, and are great words to heed. If you are a bit more seasoned, it is never really to late to make sure the decisions and passions of your life will count for the right things. You might be plotting the course of your life as you read this page. Be careful to choose the right course, the right building. That building is serving, knowing, and pleasing God. Fix you eyes on Jesus, and follow Him to the top. Set your ladder against His building. When you follow God, you will never get to the end, look back, and regret the route you took.