Read Proverbs 7
I absolutely love it when stories allow you to see things from every angle. Movies where you see an event happen from every character’s perspective are incredibly intriguing to me. So, when I read the Bible I like to imagine what each person in the story is thinking or feeling or doing or experiencing. I’ll read it through once, taking in the entire story, but then I’ll go back through and read it from the perspective of a character or an on-looker. By putting myself into the story, I feel like I can learn more about life and God.
This chapter of Proverbs was very awkward for me until I began to ask some questions about this situation. I revisited this chapter as if it were a story or a scene in a movie. I asked myself questions about this man and what drove him into the arms of a woman who wasn’t his wife. I questioned this woman’s motives and history. I wanted to know more about her and why she ended up the way that she did. I wanted to know more about the context and their backstories.
The man in this story is very young, immature, and lacking wisdom. We’ve all been there. If you don’t think so, I would encourage you to ask your parents or friends from your teenage years, I’m sure they’ll be able to refresh your memory. I would even dare to say that there are areas of our lives where we still lack wisdom, even though we’ve grown out of some of our childish ways. While we might be smart enough to not launch off firecrackers, we might lack financial wisdom. Or we might be very savvy when it comes to business but lack wisdom when interacting with people.
No matter our age, we can still fall prey to foolishness if we’re not vigilant.
I think that’s the whole point of Solomon’s parable: be vigilant and guard wisdom. At some point in time, every character in the story threw wisdom to the side, taking up momentary gratification instead. The married woman chose to sleep with someone else while her husband was away instead of remaining faithful. Her husband seemed to have been absent rather often, probably avoiding his problems instead of facing them. And the foolish young man was in a part of town he shouldn’t have been in, wandering around much later than he should’ve been.
While we may not be engaging in an adulterous relationship, we can all use more wisdom in certain areas. Having a sober self-assessment is vital in gaining and applying wisdom. Increasing in wisdom starts with a realization of your lack and then spending time with the One who created and has infinite wisdom at his disposal. No matter how foolish you’ve been, there’s always an open opportunity to change your ways and gain more wisdom. I am so thankful that we don’t have to be like the characters in today’s story but can choose a better way. Today I choose to pursue wisdom.