Not Every Quote That Glitters Is Gold

 

I love great quotes. Just about everyone who knows me, or has read any of the posts I write for this website, or follows me on Twitter, knows that I am a big fan of great motivational and inspirational quotes. Great quotes from people throughout history have the ability to inspire us, motivate us, cause us to look at life from a different perspective, and often teach us valuable truths that we need to know. As much as I am a lover of great quotes, I also am aware that not every quote that you hear or read on the internet is of value. There are many quotes that on the surface appear to be very profound words of wisdom, that in reality are nothing more than glittery words that sound good but are light years away from being the truth.

One of the social networks that I frequent is Google +. If you have never tried Google +, I encourage you to check it out. It is really a great social network. I was recently skimming some of the various posts that were being shown on Google+, and I ran across a quote that made me stop and evaluate what was being said in the quote. On the surface, it sounded like a quote of wisdom and sound advice, but on further reflection, I realized that even though the quote sounded like words of wisdom on the surface, they actually spoke utter nonsense. The quote that I am speaking of said this… “You may not end up where you thought you’d be, but you always end up where you’re meant to be.” Now on the surface, this quote sounds very profound and full of wisdom. However, if you take a moment and really think about what this quote is suggesting, you will most likely agree that it is nonsense. Here is what I am taking this quote as saying….” Don’t worry about what happens to you or what you do in life…wherever you end up is where you were meant to be.” Are you kidding me? That is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard. Let me give you several reasons why this quote, which sounds good on the surface, is complete rubbish.

Suppose a person started smoking cigarettes at a very young age, and by the time they had reached the age of sixty, because they had smoked for a very long time, they developed emphysema. I had a co-worker at one time that this actually happened to. This person ended up dying of lung disease. Now when this person started smoking at a very young age, they…just as this quotes suggests…had no clue that they would end up nowhere close to where they thought they’d be. When this person started smoking, I am certain they had no idea whatsoever that they would one day end up with emphysema, and die from it. Where they ended up was a place they didn’t think they’d be. If you embrace the message of the quote, then it would suggest that this person ending up with emphysema was meant to be. This quote would suggest that this person facing a life-ending disease was simply their destiny and meant to be. WHAT? To think that would be total foolishness. Anyone who ends up with a life threatening lung disease brought on by smoking didn’t get to that place because that is where they were meant to end up; they got to that place by being stupid. Let me give you another example. Imagine that someone inherited a very large sum of money, or perhaps won the lottery. Imagine for a moment that this person who fell into sudden wealth started a journey of reckless spending and gambling, causing them to become bankrupt within a few years of becoming incredibly wealthy. I would have to imagine that when a person wins the lottery, the last thing on their mind is that they will be bankrupt in three to five years. Sadly, this is often the case according to statistics. The National Endowment for Financial Education cites research estimating that 70 percent of people who suddenly receive a large sum of money will lose it within a few years. So, if a person were to suddenly became wealthy and then goes broke, is this quote trying to suggest that going bankrupt was simply meant to be? Again, if this scenario were to happen to a person, it would be brought about by stupidity, not fate.

I want to suggest to you that what determines where you end up in life is the choices and decisions you make. What you get out of life is based on choices not fate. Fate has nothing to do with it. If you make sound, God-directed, and wise decisions, you will end up in a good place, and end up in the place you were indeed meant to be. I believe that God had a distinct plan for everyone’s life. It is our choice as to whether we seek God’s direction and leading. There is distinct place in life that God wants to take you to and where He “means” for you to be. If we fail to seek God and do not place Him first in our lives, we will without a doubt end up in a place that we never thought we’d be, but also a place that we were not meant to be. Contrary to what this quote tries to suggest, you can’t just float along in life and take whatever comes your way and trust that you will end up in the place in life that you were meant to be. God has a plan for your life. His plan for your life may be very different from mine, but His plan for your life will take you to that place in life that you were meant to be. The Bible says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. (Psalms 37:23) If we do not strive to be led by God, we can miss out on experiencing the life that God wants us to have. Without God, you will never end up where you were meant to be. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ, when your life is over, you’ll end up in a place you never thought you’d be…and I don’t think I need to explain where that place is.

I try to be very careful what quotes I share and which ones I take counsel from. Not every quote that circulates on the internet and on social media is worth repeating or taking counsel from. Always remember, not every quote that glitters is gold. When I share a quote, I ask myself if the thought behind it would inspire a person to become a better person, and also if it contains words of advice that Jesus would give. More times than not, if a quote does not satisfy both of these criteria, I will not share it. Quotes are great as long as they hold profound truths, but not all quotes do.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

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