The book of Proverbs often warns us of “leaning on our own understanding” instead of God’s expressed direction or the better advice from others. The most popular phrase Proverbs uses is the one that begins Proverbs Chapter 21. It says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes…” What that means is we all think our ideas are best or our way is the right way. This often will lead to catastrophic results.

Dave McPherson told this story in a sermon once. “A U.S. Air Force transport plane with its captain and 5 crew members was flying over Alaska in the mid-50s when they entered an unusually fierce snowstorm. The navigator contacted an air base only to be told that he had veered several hundred miles off course. Correct coordinates were given to the navigator, who continued to insist that his own calculations could not be that far off. Soon the plane ran low on fuel. The six men decided to abandon the plane and parachute to safety, but because of the -70 degree Fahrenheit temperature and winds that gusted to 50 mph, they were all frozen within minutes of hitting the ground. A friend of mine was part of the rescue team that discovered and retrieved the bodies 3 days later. As a result of the navigator’s pride, 5 other people went to their deaths.”

The results in our own lives when we hold firm to our own ideas against God’s design or others’ advice may not be so dramatic, but we should never forget that God’s word and the counsel of others is always the wisest approach to life’s problems.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15