Sometimes in life, you meet foolish people. And I’m not talking about silly people or goofy people or even immature people. In many cases, people who are silly or goofy or immature are just young or young at heart or don’t have the life experience you do. But that doesn’t make them fools.
The Bible has a very specific definition of a fool. A fool is basically a person who knows what’s right and chooses to do what’s wrong anyway. A fool is someone who refuses to learn from his/her bad choices. A fool is someone who won’t listen, not to you, not to authority, not to God.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a fool. The opposite of a foolish person is a wise person, so the next question we need to ask ourselves is what does it mean to be wise?
Today’s verse is Psalm 111:10.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
This is one of those verses Sunday School teachers make kids memorize, but I’m not sure if people really take the time to explain it or understand it. As a child, I didn’t really get what it meant to be afraid of God.
God has always been a huge part of my life, and I’ve never been afraid of Him. But my mom helped me understand the concept of what fearing God looks like.
I’m not afraid of my boss. Not really. She’s intimidating in her own way, but only because she has authority in my life. So because I recognize her as my authority, I do what she asks me to do. And that’s the same way with God.
God is our authority. God has the right to tell us what to do. But it’s up to us to accept that authority or reject it. But what this verse means is that if you accept God’s authority, you’re on your way to becoming wise. So the the opposite must be true too. If you reject God’s authority, you’re on the fast track to foolishness.
One of the first steps to not being foolish is having an attitude that is teachable.
Have you met teachable people? They’re awesome to be around. They’re willing to learn. They don’t insist on getting their own way. They quietly allow you to explain yourself, your point of view. They don’t act like they already know it all. That’s the kind of person I want to be. That’s the kind of student, friend, daughter, sister I want to be.
How does your attitude check out? When God tells you to do something, do you automatically reject it? And I’m not talking weird, creepy voices in your head. I mean out of the Bible. That’s the way God communicates with us the majority of the time.
If the Bible says to live a certain way, do you do it? If you don’t do it, why not? Is it because it’s uncomfortable? Is it because it’s unpopular? Is it because you just don’t want to?
It’s okay. Everyone’s been there. I’ve been there in the last few weeks. Where God has obviously told me to do something, and I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to.
That doesn’t mean I’m not His child. That doesn’t mean He’ll throw me away. But it does mean that He’ll go out of His way to show me that living that way isn’t in my best interests.
Respecting God’s authority in your life is the very foundation of wisdom, because when you accept who God is to you and who you are to Him, it changes your perspective on everything. Or it should.
Do you respect God’s authority? Do you recognize that He is God and you aren’t? And if you do, do you accept what that means? That His way is best? Just because you believe one doesn’t mean you act on the other.
It’s difficult to do. It’s hard to live the way God wants sometimes, especially when you want to do things your own way. But live long enough and you’ll learn that God really does know what He’s doing. And your life will be so much easier if you just stop being stubborn and do what He says.
Maybe people say being foolish is fun, but it isn’t really. When you’re a fool, you plateau. There’s only so much foolishness a person can achieve. But wisdom? Wisdom opens doors. Wisdom stretches out farther than your eyes can see. Wisdom is a great adventure that never gets boring, never grows old, and never ends.
So which one do you want?