Refusing to Play the Fool

Read: Proverbs 1:1-7
Fools despise wisdom and discipline (v.7).

Israeli media recently reported on the frenzied scene in garbage dumps around Tel Aviv, as people searched for one million dollars stuffed in an old mattress that had been accidentally discarded. A woman identified only by her first name, Anat, told a local radio station that she didn’t realize her elderly mother had the money stuffed into the beat-up bedding. After she made the discovery, the garbage truck had already picked up the trash-turned-loot. Perhaps sticking a million dollars in your mattress without telling anyone is not the wisest choice.

We make both wise and foolish choices every day. Some decisions yield good dividends, some are costly. Some choices weigh heavy, while others prove to be inconsequential. Most of us, however, would prefer to live according to wisdom. We’d like to make healthy and fruitful choices for our lives, careers, friendships, finances, and marriages.

Scripture tells us that God desires to give us wisdom, to bless us with the kind of knowledge that allows us to live with joy and integrity (v.2). In fact, God Himself is the wellspring for this freeing wisdom. The “fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,” says the Bible’s wisdom writer (v.7). If our lives already reflect wise direction, we can take in God’s wisdom and “become even wiser” (v.5). If we’re struggling with learning how to live well, God’s wisdom will teach us how to “do what is right, just, and fair” (v.3).

The opposite choice, of course, is to ignore wisdom, to ignore God. Tragically, disaster and heartache will always result from this foolish choice. As Bob Dylan once sang, “Gonna change my way of thinking, make myself a different set of rules. Gonna put my good foot forward and stop being influenced by the fools.”

God alone provides wisdom to keep us from playing the fool.

—Winn Collier

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”