By Amy Groeschel
Have you ever experienced the tantrum of a small child? The screeching, wailing, unwavering persistence, and extreme energy they exert is completely astounding, right? ( never our children, of course! Ha!) The point is that these beloved children openly display their foolish hearts. There is no reasoning or chance of them understanding that their care-giver knows what is best for them. They know what they want, and baby, they had better get it.
Can you relate to their folly? Now, I’m not suggesting that adults have meltdowns like this…no, wait, actually, I am suggesting that. We may (or may not) suppress some of the extra toddler-drama, but some of us (self included) have had our share of foolish behavior.
Let’s examine one main reason why we do this – WE THINK WE ARE IN CHARGE.
I was somewhat of a strong-willed child, (just ask my parents!) and believe it or not, sometimes as an adult this strength-of-will steps in to try to take over my heart.
What should we do when our hearts are trying to break away from godly wisdom and restraint? God’s word teaches that wisdom begins with a healthy fear of the Lord (understanding who God is and who you aren’t), but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 NIV So my advice to myself and others, is this: Stop trying to be the one in charge. Be mindful of the One who really is in control and obey Him. How silly we must look to God when we stubbornly fight for “our way” as if we know what’s best!
In last week’s blog post I posed the question: What does your heart look like? This week, I’d like us all to examine our hearts again with a similar question: Which house is your heart dwelling in? Is your heart living in the graces of God’s wisdom or in the loony house of folly?
To aid your reflection, I’ve compiled a few scriptures from Proverbs to glean from. My prayer and desire is that the Holy Spirit will speak directly to our hearts and gently encourage and instruct us. May our responses be full of His wisdom.
Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.
“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
”The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way. “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave. Proverbs 9:1-18 NIV
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
What a foolish heart looks like…
Foolish hearts blame God for their problems.
A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD. (Proverbs 19:3 NIV) We must beware of living lives of victimization. Even if we have suffered greatly in this fallen world, casting blame is never wise. Freedom is found in blame, right? Instead of pointing the finger, blaming God, or even blaming yourself, you can choose the way of the wise, walking as a victorious overcomer, a fighter for peace, forgiveness, and hope.
Foolish hearts do not receive correction.
The wise in heart accepts commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. (Proverbs 10:8 NIV) When we don’t respect authority we can fall into the trap of the fool that refuses to listen or accept any critique or advice. But he who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise (Proverbs 15:31 NIV). For extra study and insight on this please read Proverbs 1.
Foolish hearts are unbelieving hearts.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; (Psalms 14:1 NIV) Sadly, many will foolishly shut off their hearts to faith in the One who created them in His image and loves them desperately. Nevertheless, there is hope for all while they still have breath to open their spiritual eyes, ears, and hearts to believe and receive His glorious grace.
Write out a reminder of any lesson, be it great or small, that you’ve received from today’s post.
Do you have a next step to take to apply what you learned?
Next week, we’ll look at the burdened heart.