June 28, 2019
Proverbs gives us dead-ringer definitions of fools. You don’t have to be an extreme fool, because any person can be foolish at times. Here’s one descriptor in Proverbs 18:2-3:
A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.
When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes, and with dishonor comes scorn.
NO DELIGHT IN UNDERSTANDING
Wise men SEEK understanding … from God and from other people. It is the mark of real wisdom to listen so that you can get at the real issues before you make your conclusions.
Not so with a fool. He is so proud that he doesn’t listen to anybody. He thinks that his way is always right and so he doesn’t pursue understanding. What he does want to do is give everyone around him his own thinking. A “piece of his mind” is what he constantly imparts—even when unsolicited—although he has little to spare.
CONTEMPT AND SCORN FOR OTHERS
He is so convinced of his thinking that he even holds what other people say and think with contempt. And he will scorn those who don’t believe like he does.
It doesn’t take very long in a conversation before he is mentioning others with criticism and judgment. Not the humble judgment of the wise, the but the arrogant criticism by one who believes his thinking is infallible.
AND THE ROOT IS …
Pride, as always. A fool is just full of himself. The mark of real wisdom is humility. A man who sees his sin and his need. He is humbly willing to admit that he doesn’t have the answers for everyone. But he longs to find God’s truth and seeks it diligently. He even holds his beliefs with a loose hand. Not out of a lack of conviction, but the awareness that there is always room to grow in understanding. He knows God is never wrong, but that he himself is always capable of error.
This is a man who reads the Bible daily, not as a ritual, but as a heartfelt desire to know God and be equipped to help others with God’s truth. He prays, so that He may live in intentional communion with the God-of-all-truth. “As the eyes of the servant look to the hand of the Master … so our eyes are on Thee, O Lord” is the posture of his heart.
How are you doing lately? Are you responding in foolish pride or humble wisdom? The world needs wisdom and God has chosen you to be one of his instruments to bring it to others. Seek understanding in every situation and speak the words of God’s wisdom to others.
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