Read Proverbs 9
We all have received invitations to gatherings. Some are more formal than others.
The Commanding General requests the presence of you and your spouse at 1800 hours.
Some are less formal.
Dude! Game tomorrow. My place. Brings some brewskis.
Two invitations are offered in Proverbs 9. One comes from Lady Wisdom and the other from the woman Folly. They use the same words:
Let all who are simple come in.
Turn in here.
Come on in.
But the preparations at these two locations are entirely different. We are told that wisdom has built her house on 7 pillars. That is to say her house is complete. In that house is a proper meal of meat and wine with attendants. This is no fast food stop. This is the house of wisdom and it is filled with understanding. You would be wise to dine here.
Then we come to the woman Folly. She says, “Come on it.” There is no proper invitation. This is a loudmouth on a street corner trying to get your attention. Her meal is a little different. She probably doesn’t have receipts for what she is serving.
Once upon a time I knew an inmate who on one of his periods between incarcerations broke into a grocery store with a butcher shop. He hoped to score some cash—most likely for drugs or boooze, but there was none to be found. Who would have thought that the owner wouldn’t leave cash in the register overnight? So he took some steaks from the meat counter.
The next day the police arrived at his house while he was outside in his yard cooking T-bone steaks for his family. Who doesn’t enjoy a summer afternoon with the family in the yard. I think he got about 2 years per steak. That was high priced steak.
Wisdom says there is a prudent path to follow.
Folly says whatever you can get away with, even if you know you really can’t get away with.
Our parents told us there is a right way and a wrong way.
Here’s the challenge, the rub if you will. Those who have already started down the path of wisdom are open to correction. They welcome counsel and teaching and sometimes even rebuke. Wisdom leads us to seek more wisdom. It doesn’t remove the obstacles from our path but when we encounter the obstacle, we ask, “What is the wise thing to do?”
Those on the course of folly don’t want any more advice. They don’t want to think about the path they are on. Some with just tune out wisdom. Some will respond abusively. Those who avoid the path of wisdom want nothing to do with the invitation to a proper meal. They don’t feel comfortable or at home in such a setting.
So we come to the proverbs, mostly of Solomon, and we find that there is counsel about so many areas of life. But we need to understand that this counsel falls on deaf ears for those who are going down the wrong path.
So too, we find that getting our family, friends, and mostly our children on the right path early is of upmost importance.
We need to teach wisdom in our families. We need to be proactive about it. We need to: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
We will get to that proverb in time, but we should consider it as we begin. Our children won’t always make the right choice every time, but we should equip them so they can. Everyone makes mistakes and forgiveness that we don’t deserve lets us live in spite of them and beyond them and without them as burdens that we must carry forever.
But wise choices have benefits and folly comes with consequences. God can use everything for good for those who love him; but we don’t have to learn every lesson the hard way.
We can learn lessons from the teaching of others. We can learn from our own mistakes and sometimes those lessons are best, but we are not truly wise unless we can leverage the wisdom of others.
Consider an inverted pyramid. The base is at the top. It represents the gambit of life situations that we may encounter.
The bottom is the point. This is our actual life experience. It is a very small area compared to the base. We can visualize this with an inverted triangle, but remember the triangle is only two dimensional. A pyramid is three dimensional and thus the area of potential experience is exponentially greater than the point of actual experience.
What’s the point?
If we only use our own life experience to prepare us for what our future may hold, we have made some pretty flimsy preparations.
And consider how hard it is to balance an inverted pyramid. It’s just not going to happen. It will fall over again and again; that is, unless we buttress the sides. We must support the sides of this pyramid somehow, but with what?
· The wisdom of others
· The knowledge of others
· Lessons learned by others
We need to buttress our inverted pyramid with wisdom that we get by reading the Bible, that what is taught by our parents, that which we learn from others in the Body of Christ, and by sharing our life lessons with each other.
To ignore wisdom is to live our lives trying to balance an inverted pyramid.
Good luck with.
So as we embark upon the next 22 chapters, consider what is offered as leverage to living an abundant life. Consider it as a life multiplier that provides us wisdom with the tuition paid for by the experience of others.
And go from this point forward, acquiring wisdom not just for ourselves but so we may actively teach it to our children and grandchildren and to the children that cross our paths because God planned it that way.
Let us learn to be wise and learn to teach those with a teachable spirit to join us in this journey.