Quote Evaluation 101: Not Every Quote That Glitters Is Gold

Not Every Quote Is Created Equal

I love a great quote. Those who know me know I am a big fan of great motivational quotes. Great quotes throughout history have inspired us, motivated us, and caused us to look at life differently. They often teach us valuable truths. As much as I love great quotes, I know not every quote you hear or read is of value. Many quotes appearing to be profound words of wisdom are nothing more than glittery words of nonsense.

Recently a quote I read made me stop and evaluate it. It sounded like a quote of wisdom. But, on further reflection, I realized it wasn’t. Even though the quote sounded wise, the words actually spoke utter nonsense. The quote said, “You may not end up where you thought you’d be, but you always end up where you’re meant to be.” 

Peeking Under The Hood Of The Quote

Now on the surface, the quote sounded profound and wise. However, if you  think about what this quote suggests, you will likely agree it is nonsense. The quote is implying ” Don’t worry about what happens to you or what you do in life. 

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 is complete rubbish.

Suppose someone starts smoking cigarettes at a very young age. By sixty years of age, they developed emphysema from their many years of smoking. I once had a co-worker who developed emphysema. This person died of lung disease. When the typical emphysema patient starts smoking at a young age, they have no clue where they will end up. I am certain they have no idea they will one day develop emphysema and die from it. Where they end up is a place they didn’t think they’d be.

The quote suggests this person developing emphysema was meant to be. This quote suggests that this person facing a life-ending disease was simply their destiny and meant to be. WHAT? To think that would be total foolishness. A person who develops lung cancer from smoking doesn’t get it because they were meant to. They get it by being stupid.

Consider This Scenario

Let me give you another example. Imagine someone winning the lottery. After winning the lottery, they started a journey of reckless spending and gambling. Within a few years of becoming incredibly wealthy, they became bankrupt. When a person wins the lottery, the last thing on their mind is going bankrupt within three to five years. Sadly, this is often the case according to statistics. The National Endowment for Financial Education estimates 70 percent of people who win the lottery will be broke within a few years. So, was the quote suggesting that going bankrupt was simply meant to be? Again, if this scenario happened to a person, it would be brought about by stupidity, not fate.

Your Choices In Life Determine Your Destination 

The choices and decisions you make determine where you end up in life. What you get out of life is based on choices not fate. Fate has nothing to do with it. If you make sound and wise decisions, you will end up in a good place. A life of wise choices takes you to where you are meant to be. I believe God has a distinct plan for everyone’s life. Whether or not we seek God’s direction and leading is a matter of choice. If we fail to seek God and do not place Him first in our lives, we will undoubtedly end up where we never thought we’d be. Without God’s direction, we end up in places we are not meant to be.

You can’t just float along taking whatever comes your way and hope you’ll end up in the place 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 where you were meant to be. The Bible says the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. (Psalms 37:23)  Without God’s leading, we miss out on experiencing the life God wants us to have. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ, when your life is over, you’ll end up in a place you never thought you’d be. I don’t think I need to explain where that place is.

Be Careful What Quote You Take As Gold

I am careful what quotes I share and which ones I take counsel from. Not every quote is worth repeating or taking counsel from. Not every quote that glitters is gold. When sharing a quote, I ask myself if the thought behind it would challenge and inspire a person to become a better person.  More times than not, if a quote does not satisfy this 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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