Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 26, 2010

Wise or Foolish?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am
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Like many people, I can look back on decisions that I made and comment, “Why did I do that?  That was a mistake!  How could I be so foolish?”

Did you ever feel that way?  Don’t we  wish we could be as wise as Solomon?  But we  know we do some foolish things from time to time.   Many  times  throughout my life  I have made a decision that later I regretted.  I learned it had not been a wise decision when I  experienced results that I never expected. This will not be a confession time for me of those foolish things in my life.  If I decided to be transparent enough to recount some unwise choices I have made, I am not sure how I could ever limit the list for the space I have.  Let’s just say, I have many poor and foolish decisions in my past.   And I will probably have more in the future.

This got me to thinking.  I really need to understand the difference in wise and foolish choices.  Now I can go to Webster’s Dictionary and find the difference.  Wise–having or showing good judgment.  Foolish–without good sense.  I accept those definitions.  I suppose that would be typical of the way I would define the words.  But I am blessed to have a Teacher with better explanations.

I get my definitions from Jesus.  In my words, He teaches me that a wise person is one who gives forethought  to the future.  The wise person considers what the results of the present decision will bring.  The foolish person is one who makes a decision with no thought of the results of the decision.  The one who makes a decision based on the easy and momentary is considered foolish.

Jesus gave examples of people who showed wisdom and foolishness.  In Matthew 7, He told of two men.  One built his house on a rock.  The other built his house on sand.  In the story, Jesus said that the wind and rain came.  The house on the rock withstood the storm.  The house on the sand was swept away.  Jesus said the man who built on the rock was wise, while the other man was foolish.  The wise man considered that perhaps it would be much harder to build on the rock, but once built, the house could withstand a storm should it come.  The builder considered the consequence of his decision.

The man who built his house on the sand made his decision on the convenience of the moment.  It would be easier to put his foundation in the sand.  His decision may have been based also on being close to a water supply.  He could only see the ease of the moment.  He gave no look into the future of the possibility of a storm and what would be the result.  Decisions made without considering what the future might bring as a result of the present decisions are  evidence of a lack of wisdom.

Jesus gave  another wonderful example.  In Matthew 24 He spoke of ten bridesmaids waiting to welcome the bridegroom when he would arrive into town.  When the announcement was made that the bridegroom was coming, suddenly five of the bridesmaids discovered they did not have enough oil in their lamps to go out and greet the bridegroom.  They had so lived for the moment that they gave no serious consideration to the future.  Wisdom is the ability to understand that life is more than just this day.  No matter how wonderful it might be, there are tomorrows that will come and what those days will hold for us will depend a great deal on how we lived today and made choices.

Many people today are in financial crisis because they did not consider the events that might come in the future.   There are parents who grieve today because they did not consider the results of the liberties they gave their children. And we could multiply these examples. For us to heed the teachings of Jesus and understand wise and foolish decisions could be one of the greatest lessons we ever learn.

When Jesus told of the two home builders, He wanted us to understand where wisdom comes from.  Wisdom comes from reading  and obeying His Word.  If we are attentive to His teachings about life, we will be people of wisdom.  I am seeking to be more wise.  I hope you will join me on this journey.

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  (Proverbs 2:6)

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1 Comment »

  1. Insightful and helpful. Glad God grants us wisdom if we ask.

    Comment by jjr, mo — January 27, 2010 @ 3:36 pm | Reply


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