The Ways Of The Wise
Not everything in life is black and white, but when it comes to the choices we make, the outcome of our decisions has a way of revealing if they were good or bad, wise or foolish.
The book of Proverbs contains a storehouse of wisdom. Not just generic ideologies, Biblical Proverbs have been tested for millennia and found to be dependable, trustworthy, and God-honoring.
Proverbs 1:1-6 sets up the whole book by highlighting that its purpose is to teach wisdom, discipline, and insight. Guiding us into success and giving us tips on how to live a life that does what is right and fair.
Living just a couple hours from San Francisco, I love going to The City. However, our first time there was horrible. I was the one driving, and driving in the City by the Bay can be a nightmare, especially when you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there. I learned fast that when in San Francisco, the GPS is my best friend.
It may sound a bit cliche, but our choices become our GPS because our decisions set the direction of our life.
In my observation, many Christ-followers confuse the difference between grace & forgiveness, and wisdom & foolishness.
God’s grace forgives our sin, but it doesn’t remove the consequences of our foolishness.
A student who fails to study for a difficult test, while a forgiven child of God, is still likely to flunk the exam. I can love Jesus and enjoy that the debt of my sin is paid in full while, at the same time, live in turmoil because I’ve spent myself into a financial debt I can’t pay. With passion, I can sing, ‘You’re a good, good Father,’ but be a bad, bad friend if I treat others with disrespect.
Because of Christ, I’m on my way to heaven. As a result of my choices, I could be heading for disaster.
When realizing the folly of our ways, we can try praying for God to cancel the effect of our choices but the truth is that what we behave our way into, we have to behave our way out of.
Wisdom and foolishness each exhibit a distinct approach to life. Wisdom looks ahead, while foolishness looks mostly at the moment.
Proverbs 27:12 says, ‘The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.’ (NIV)
The Message paraphrase says it this way, ‘The prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.’ (MSG)
The wise behave as if tomorrow is today while the foolish act like tomorrow never comes.
One doesn’t need to be a person of faith to see the power of our choices. Why is it then that we often still choose the way of foolishness and not the way of wisdom? Maybe it’s because most of us believe we’re the exception to the rule. We’ve gone down the path of the foolish and got away with it. At some point, often sooner than we think, the consequences ultimately find us.
Why risk it? Why not go with what’s tested and true? The upside of making wise choices far exceeds the few moments of escaping the effects of foolishness.
Do Something Simple: Trust the wisdom God has passed on to us.
Apply the counsel given throughout the book of Proverbs. Consistently applying it’s teaching, we will experience the benefits of the ways of the wise.
Speaking of wisdom, Proverbs 8:25-36 says, ‘For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.’
Those are some pretty strong words. However, doesn’t life teach us some pretty hard lessons? Wisdom is better than foolishness.