Read Proverbs 26
I have always wanted to get my PhD, mainly because I would love to be Dr. Sarah. I would love to have that title and I’m sure I’ll pursue that some day, but that day is not today. If you’re currently in school, I admire you so highly. I know that it’s tough, but you can do it! Don’t give up!
One of the main reasons why I’m thankful that I’m not in school right now is because of the tests. I don’t miss taking exams and the anxiety you feel while waiting for your grade. I recently had an awesome conversation with a young woman who is attending University in Germany. Their education system is far different than our’s here in America, and this fascinated me. One of the things that surprised me is how they administer tests. At her school the exams are cumulative, covering every little thing that was discussed during the course of the semester. In America we typically have tests throughout the course of the semester that will cover the material in manageable pieces, at her school they get one exam at the end to test their knowledge of the material.
Today’s Proverb reminded me of a cumulative study guide for an end of term test.
Solomon reviews for us much of what he’s already discussed in the previous 25 chapters. I find his heavy emphasis on what a fool looks like to be interesting. The difference between foolishness and wisdom is something he doesn’t want us to miss.
Foolishness is easy to spot in others but hard to identify in ourselves.
It’s my suspicion that the fools listed in today’s Proverb didn’t realize they were fools. They likely thought they were wise, intelligent people who were in the right. I doubt the people in Solomon’s examples had true community around them. I would imagine they didn’t have people in their lives who could speak up when they were acting foolish. I believe they had superficial relationships and became offended when people tried to point out a better way to live.
This is when a community becomes so beautiful in our lives. When you surround yourself with people who aware of what foolishness looks like, when they’re knowledgeable about the things of God and practical matters, and they have the permission to speak into your life, the sky becomes the limit. When a trusted community member is able to point out your flaws or sins or foolish decisions in love and you receive that information and choose to make a change, you can grow significantly.
Have you given anyone in your life the permission to call you out? Is there someone who has the authority in your life to speak up when you’re being foolish?
If you don’t have someone like that, I encourage you to find a wise, trusted person in your life, and give them the open door to speak up when they see inappropriate, foolish, less-than-your-best behavior. It’s both a beautiful and troubling thing when they speak up. It’s wonderful that they care that much about you to speak into your life, but it’s hard when you have to make a choice to change.
When we invite people into our lives and choose to speak into theirs, we can all improve each other. Let’s start by choosing to pursue God, live wisely and love well in our communities today.