Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18th – Proverbs 18: Foul Air

“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2

Just in case there is any ambiguity to this verse (and there really isn’t), the literal translation of this scripture from the Hebrew goes a little something like this: “A foolish and unwise person is not inclined or predisposed to reason, discretion or understanding. Rather, the fool finds great joy in uncovering and exposing his thoughts, feelings and opinions.”


Wise people listen to and actually seek out understanding and wisdom. You can always spot a wise person; they are the ones asking questions. Only in asking a question can you get an answer. No one has ever learned anything by stating their opinion. Conversely, a foolish person leads every conversation by stating their opinion. They may try and appear like they are asking a question, but questions that lead with opinions aren’t really questions, are they? But this is where foolish people really get excited. They take GREAT delight in airing their opinions, thoughts and feelings. In their minds they are thinking that they want to help “people” by publishing their vast knowledge and wisdom. What they forget is that they brand themselves as fools by constantly revealing their thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Some time ago, I found myself in a lecture conversation with some VERY zealous young people. The conversation was far ranging and covered a wide range of important topics like marriage, evangelism and missions. The problem was that each topic began with an emphatic statement of their opinions concerning the issue discussed. Then, almost as an afterthought, they would look at others in the room and half-heartedly ask the question: “Isn’t that right?” In reality, most of their conclusions were completely insane. What they didn’t know is that I had personally experienced many of the things they were passionately theorizing about and could have really helped them avoid some major pitfalls. I had facts, experience and dare I say it, “wisdom” concerning the issues they were discussing. But they weren’t talking to understand, they were just taking turns sharing their opinions.

When they finally did get around to the "question", “What do you think?” I just smiled and nodded, keeping the answers they needed to myself. Why? You don’t throw pearls to pigs. (Matthew 7:6)


If you would take a breath while venting your foul air, you may discover that he answer to your problem is quietly sitting next to you on the couch.

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