Most of us know ‘the look.’ It’s the face mom makes when she catches us digging into the cake for the church social. It’s the face dad makes after finding his favorite silk tie tied to the dog. Whether the offense was immediately forgiven, or punished severely, we know we’ve messed up when we see ‘the look’ and we learn from those mistakes.
In Proverbs 1, King Solomon states the purposes for the rest of his book: to learn wisdom, understanding, prudent behavior, doing what is right and fair, knowledge, and discretion.
We don’t have to learn everything by mistake. Wisdom says if we consistently obey God’s rules, we can avoid painful consequences. Read the Bible; do what it says.
As adults, we balk at the idea that wisdom is as simple as being obedient. Too often, we go about our daily grind and pretend we’ve got it together. We refuse advice that teaches us to live a more fruitful, less anxious life.
But at the start of this book, Solomon calls us to humble ourselves, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
Solomon writes that “… the complacency of fools will destroy them.” But God shows us another way to live: “Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you…whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm” (Proverbs 1:23-32).
Wisdom begins with listening. Achieving it is a lifetime journey.
Like the mom who calls us to task for using crayons where we shouldn’t, God’s rebuke is meant to stop, redirect, and set us back on the path He knows is best for us. There, we will learn true wisdom. We can follow God, at ease on the path He has chosen, or we can risk being the fool that despises God and does things his own way. It’s up to us.
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