Friday, April 1, 2016

The Way of a Fool

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15 NIV)

By this definition, I have been a fool numerous times over the course of my life.  Fortunately for my ego, so have you.  We are convinced we are right and we go through with whatever we’ve decided, even if others are advising against it.  

When I was a college freshman and a new follower of Jesus, I broke up with my girlfriend of nearly two years.  She did not understand my conversion and was not seeking to follow the Lord.  It was a wise decision.  However, a few months later, I began having second thoughts and entertained the idea of getting back together with her.  As I talked with some trusted friends, they all advised against it.  But it seemed right to me.  I still had feelings for her.  Perhaps I could convince her more easily to follow Jesus if I were back in a relationship with her.  So we got back together.  Big mistake, as everyone knew but me.  I didn’t persuade her to follow Jesus and the relationship drug me down spiritually.  Fortunately, she found someone else a few months later and broke up with me.  

When I look back on that situation, clearly I was a fool, but in the moment, I had no clue.  If I had only trusted the advice of others whom I did consider more wise than I, it would have turned out differently and better.  Therein lies the rub.  We tend to default to our own judgment when we think it will attain us what we want.  I wanted my girlfriend back; listening to the advice I was getting would have meant giving up that desire.  So I didn’t listen.  

Life comes with many decisions.  It is good to have wise people in our lives to whom we can turn to for advice.  One is definitely on the road to foolishness if he is the sole guide of his life.  We all need people wiser and with more life experience than us in our lives to help us navigate the many decisions and situations we will face.  But then we need to listen to the advice we are given rather than merely following after our hearts’ desires.  

Today, seek to develop relationships with people who have greater wisdom and more life experience than you do.  By getting their advice and following it, you will avoid the way of the fool.

© Jim Musser 2016

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