The Bible speaks a lot about what it means to be wise and what it means to be foolish. In the book of Proverbs, we find the most references to this subject. As I have been reading through this book in my quiet time, I began to make a list of what it means to be wise vs what it means to be foolish. I was telling my husband about my inquiry the other day and he asked me, so which one are you? To which I replied with all honesty it depends on the day!
The Bible describes the foolish person as one who speaks without thinking (Pr. 29:20), who makes his own decisions (Pr. 12:15), who tear others down and is reckless with is words (Pr. 14:1, 14:16), The foolish one despises instruction and discipline (Pr. 1:7, 15:5), and ignores God‘s Word (Ma. 7:26). The foolish person lacks self-control and is reckless (Pr. 14:16), and repeats the same mistakes again and again (Pr. 26:11).
On the flip side, a wise person is described as one who is always learning and listening to others (Pr.1:5, 8:33, 10:14, Ma. 7:24). The wise man fears God and knows that true wisdom comes from the Lord (Pr. 9:10, 2:6), The wise person knows when to hold his tongue and uses his lips to spread knowledge and to bring healing (Pr. 12:15, 12:18, 15:7). A wise person overlooks wrongs committed against him (Pr. 12:16, 19:11), and keeps himself under control (Pr. 29:11). The wise person trust in the Lord and listens to God’s Word seeking to obey (Pr. 28:25, Ma. 7:24).
As I read through my list I was both amazed and convicted over the number of times according to God’s Word, the word foolish would describe me. If we are all honest, we all make the mistake at times of speaking without thinking, making quick decisions without prayer, trusting in ourselves instead of the Lord, and lacking self-control. When we do such things we are acting as fools. Ouch!!!
Yet the same is true of wisdom. When we fear the Lord and seek Him we are wise. When we use our words and mouths to build up and encourage, we are wise. When we grow in our learning of God’s Word, we are wise. When we forgive and don’t hold a grudge, we are wise. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are wise.
True wisdom comes from the Lord. True Wisdom thus is found in the study of God’s Word. To be wise, we must be seeking the Lord, we must be in God’s Word, we must be filled with the Spirit. If we are doing these things, we are wise, maybe not in the eyes of the world but in the eyes of God. However, if we are not doing these things, then we are making ourselves out to be fools. We are acting as the world. It’s a pretty sobering thought.
So which word best describes you? Does it depend upon your day, your mood, whats happening in your life at the time. Or are you like the wise man Jesus spoke of in the Gospel of Mathew? Are you building your house on the Rock, so that despite the rains, despite the storms your house stands firm. This person is the wisest of all, for their entire foundation in life is founded on the Lord.
Let’s be wise today in how we use our words, our time, our money. In every aspect of our lives, may we be wise by seeking the Lord, fearing Him and growing in our knowledge of Him.