Just like in the previous 14 chapters of Proverbs, chapter 15 gives us a stark contrast between the wise and the foolish.
Hmmm……which am I? Let’s make a comparison list…
Wise: turns away wrath, accepts knowledge, life, sensible, prayers are God’s delight, has a cheerful face, seeks knowledge, appreciates the smallest things, calming presence, has happy parents, success, encouraging at the right time, ponders the things to say, bright eyes, listens to reproof, has wise friends
Foolish: stirs up anger, spouts folly, crushes peoples spirit, rejects discipline, money troubles, ways are an abomination to the Lord, punishment, death, a sad heart, gets a kick from folly, afflicted days, turmoil, strife, despises parents, frustration, evil plans, evil speech, the Lord is not near, self-loathing
The answer is just plain obvious. A life of wisdom is the life for me. That list is so much more appealing! And really I’m most of the way there, right?
I don’t intend to stir up anger or spit out words of folly just for kicks. Nor do I want to leave people with crushed spirits, or share my evil plans and nasty words with them. You get the idea…..I’m cruisin‘ through life with a wisdom mansion waiting at the end.
But as I read this chapter through several times, one sentence kept jumping out. It was like every time I read it the Holy Spirit was yelling it to my spirit for emphasis…”THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE IN EVERY PLACE, WATCHING THE EVIL AND THE GOOD.”
So in the spirit of pursuing wisdom, I asked the Holy Spirit what was so important about that verse.
And he poured a mountain of conviction on my self righteousness.
God is everywhere. He sees it all, and there’s plenty of foolishness that He has had to stare at in my life. The times I could have encouraged my children but I left them dejected instead. When I looked at what my husband wasn’t getting done and raged about it in my head all the while missing the good in him. When I was rollin’ down the road with no one else in the car belting out songs that have lyrics completely contrary to the life God wants me to lead. When the spirit prompted me to help a stranger and I made excuses. When I could have read the Bible but played a video game. When I was out with friends at lunch and didn’t control my tongue, but instead spouted folly, feeding strife, which lead to a sad heart, and ended with a bit of self-loathing.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the good and the evil. Before, when I was writing that comparison list, I didn’t remember any of those things (or the other stuff God showed me that I didn’t tell you about). It’s amazing how good Satan is at helping us to only see the things we do right and forget the times we sin. Today God is being persistent. He wants me to see that every second of every minute of every day I have to pursue wisdom. That list is a nice list, but it’s just a list. It’s not a choice. Choices are thoughts and decisions that motivate our actions.
So I’m off to have a time of confession, and do some more listening….and get serious about ALL of my choices.
Hopefully, by God’s grace, one day I can receive the blessing of verse 31…..”He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”