Don't you just hate it when you do something foolish? The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about foolishness and how to guard yourself against doing and saying things you will regret. Join Nicole and Sharon as they talk about how to avoid foolishness and share some life lessons along the way.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to the Sweet Selah moments podcast. We hope this little pause in your day refreshes and encourages you friend. Let’s take time to know God through his word and love him more and more. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.
Welcome friends to episode 29 of the Sweet Selah moments podcast. Today’s episode is called Don’t Be Foolish. It’s cold here in New Hampshire as we record this podcast and it would be foolish to walk outside without a coat and a hat and gloves today. Burr. Sharon, let’s talk about that word foolish. What does it mean? And what are some current time examples of behaving foolishly?
Well, the weather is a great place to start actually. I can remember in high school very carefully arranging my hair just so, because I might have wanted to look nice for Ray Gamble, who I was dating, and the rest of the high school too. And my mother saying it is freezing out, put on your hat and me not wanting to do it. And so I would foolishly walk down the street. It was quite a long walk to the bus stop.
With no hat on, with my coat open so my pretty little outfit showed and I’d be half frozen by the time I got there, my ears would hurt.
Just foolish. And have you seen, I think this is a new England thing, maybe it’s not, maybe this also happens in Minnesota, teenage boys in shorts in the winter. What is it with teenage boys in shorts in the winter?
I know. Cold, cold legs. I don’t get it.
I don’t get it. But somehow, especially in your teen years, you are way more concerned about looking a certain way than you are about being warm. So that’s a foolish moment out of many in my life, but I’m not going to be judging those boys because I was just as foolish back then. How about you? Any foolishness you would care to share?
Oh, well, speaking of hair.
This is funny.
New Speaker (01:58):
Oh, I’ve only ever dyed my hair twice in my life. The first time was many years ago as a teenager again. Oh, those teen years, Sharon, I don’t know.
I know it.
I had bought a product on a whim and it was called a color pulse. It was supposed to be a very short term, kind of like a brightening product. So, you know, it wouldn’t be too drastic or long lasting. It said it would brighten a dark blonde and it would even wash out in eight days.
So I figured it was safe and the price, it was super cheap. That should have cautioned me.
Not so much. Well, it was not a hair brightener and I am not a dark blonde apparently because it turned my hair bright orange.
No way Nicole. Oh no.
Oh, it was awful. I took off the towel after rinsing and my sister screamed out loud. She was like, whaaww! it was like Lucille Ball meets carrot top. Just horrible orange. Just awful, very unnatural.
And it did not wash out in eight days. This magical dye stuck in my hair for three whole months.
Are you serious?
I kid you not, it was awful. Thankfully it faded by like month two and a half, but it still was a pretty unnatural color. So the second time I ever dyed my hair was last year. And you can see how long it took me to recover from that. And I had it done by a wonderfully gifted professional in a salon who dyed it this wonderfully natural color of red. And I received compliments on it instead of gasps of horror. And astonishment. Right? So, lesson learned.
Don’t buy cheap dye.
Or talk to someone who’s used it or something like that.
Yes. Just go to a salon.
New Speaker (03:41):
Or get a good product. But, Oh man.
Well, when I was pregnant with Mary, I decided that I just didn’t like how it looked anymore. And so I didn’t dye my hair, but I got a perm. The only time in my life, I got a permanent, I looked like a poodle. It was not my look. It really wasn’t. I have never even curled my hair since because of it.
Oh that’s funny so you were definitely scarred from that.
I was so scarred. I was so scarred. It’s so funny that a lot of this foolishness has to do with appearance.
I know right.
Isn’t it interesting? I’ve been foolish in ways that are not appearance related too like staying up too late at night and eating too much junk food and things like that. But there’s many ways to be foolish.
Yes. We’ve tried quite a few.
So today we’re going to look at some blunt little parables about foolishness and hopefully learn from them because there are prices to pay for foolish behavior sadly. And more than just walking around with orange hair although I do agree that, especially as a teenager, that’s a tough price to pay. I would not want to face the consequences that come from some foolish behavior at all. So we’re going to observe what Solomon and the other authors of Proverbs have to say about foolishness. We’ve broken them into categories so we can study them better, but some of them are so immense that they’re getting their own episodes. Solomon is all about talking about fools. So let’s take turns, highlighting, Nicole, first, the foolishness ‘stuff’ that gets their own episodes.
Yes. Alrighty. Well, a really big example of foolishness is letting our mouths get us into trouble. We figured we’d spend a later episode on Controlling Our Words. Proverbs 10:14 says, “Wise people treasure knowledge but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.” And Proverbs 18:7 says, “The mouths of fools are their ruin. They trap themselves with their lips”. There are plenty more where those came from. I don’t want to babble, Sharon, and I certainly do not want my mouth to be my ruin. So I’m glad we will be studying that the mouth later on.
Oh, yeah. That definitely needs its own episode.
We need that one.
There’s also a ton of Proverbs that deal with hard work and laziness. We will devote an entire episode to that. And as we’re all about rest here at Sweet Selah Ministries, we’re going to have fun determining, with the help of Proverbs, when are we legitimately resting? Which is good. And when are we being a bit lazy? Which is not good. I love this colorful proverb about laziness. It just cracks me up. It says this, “The lazy person claims, well there’s a lion on the road. Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there. As the door swings back and forth on its hinges so the lazy person turns over in bed”. Is that not hysterical?
Oh, that’s so funny.
I can’t go out in the road today. I can’t go work. There’s probably a lion. I think I’ll just keep turning in my bed.
It’s a very creative excuse.
I think it is. So Solomon had some rather blunt things and unkind things to say about lazy people to try to get them out of bed and into the road.
The other area that demands its own episode is one we’re going to call The Good Wife. Of course we will spend most of our time in Proverbs 31 for that one, but there are many other Proverbs that talk about being a wife that we will examine. I’ll share one from now from Proverbs 14:1. It will set the tone for that particular episode. “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” That’ll be good to dig into.
That will be. Because sometimes we are foolish. Kind of like when I last week talked about not wanting to be angry when Ray came home. You know, a foolish woman lets loose on her anger and makes nobody want to be in her home and that tears it down. So I can’t wait for that episode.
That will be a good one.
Yes. I think that I will probably be humbled in it in several points. So clearly we’re not going to exhaust all the ways there are to be foolish today. There are too many of them, but we are going to look at two clear indications of foolishness and talk about how to avoid them. And we’re going to start with the most important category. First, a fool does not care about being wise. That’s the beginning of their trouble. They don’t even care about it. In fact, a fool deceives himself or herself and thinks they’re doing just fine, thank you. And don’t need anyone’s help. And this lack of desire to hear true wisdom is devastating and leads quite literally to death at times.
Here are some Proverbs that warn us that we ought to want wisdom. Only a fool stops their ears and refuses to listen. Nicole and I are going to read through these Proverbs with a pause between each one so you can take a moment and ponder. They’re so rich that if we read them too fast, they blur in my mind. So I think we should stop a little tiny bit between each one. These Proverbs are rich in wisdom and they’re really good warnings for us. I want to stop and really ask God to bless this Sweet Selah moment as we listen to his word. So let’s just pray before we do the reading today. Father God, would you please give us ears to hear you? Nudge us when a nudge is needed. Lord, as we hear your word and absorb its wisdom, which is your wisdom right now, we want to hear from you. In Jesus’ name we pray this in whom all wisdom resides. Amen.
Amen. All right, I’m going to start with Proverbs 1:7: – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Proverbs 10:8: – “The wise in heart accept commands. But at chattering fool comes to ruin.”
Proverbs 10:23: – “A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.”
Proverbs 12:15: – “The way of fools seems right to them but the wise listen to advice.”
Proverbs 18:2: – “Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.”
Proverbs 26:11: – “As a dog returns to its vomit so fools repeat their folly.”
Proverbs 28:26: – “Those who trust in themselves are fools but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.”
Okay then, the Bible is pretty clear that listening to wisdom and instruction is the right thing to do. We’re to accept commands, delight in wisdom and listen to advice. Sounds like fools just do what they want and think they have all the answers. Nicole, what Proverbs stood out to you the most in this section?
The dog vomit one. Yuk!
And you’re going to get a dog and it’s the truth. They really do. It’s so disgusting.
Oh, I’m so excited.
Yeah, not my favorite part.
No. Now it’s a very vivid and effective word picture right there you know. I do not want to be compared to a dog returning to its rejected innards. Returning to my Follies. So, but how foolish we do look when we go back to our old mess and sins, you know? Lord help us. I don’t want to do that.
I don’t either. And it’s like, if you’re going to make a mistake, could you not make it seventeen times? It’s just so foolish to do the same silly thing over and over again.
Yeah, to be compared to that dog It’s just makes it like, okay, I really need to pay attention. that I’m not going back to that.
Right, right. Why would I do that?
It’s just foolish!
It’s foolish. Rather appropriate.
Well I love Proverbs 1:7: – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” It really starts there. The fear of the Lord, knowing that there is a God, that he is sovereign over all, that he created all things that he knows best. He’s got the instruction manual for life and to be in awe of him, that’s where knowledge begins because it puts us in the right place, which is not in charge of the universe. And that is not the place for us to be. We would mess up the universe so badly.
Oh my goodness yes.
We have to be first in that place of being the learner. I come back to that again, that I need to be in a place where I’m a ‘teach me’ person. Where I’m not ashamed, that I don’t know it all. Where I’m not prideful that I think I do. Where I’m humble, where I know that I’ve got more to learn and the older I get, the more I know that I have to learn. And I have that kind of ‘teach m’ attitude. So the fear of the Lord, the fear of him, the awe of him, the knowing that he’s in charge and I am not puts me in a place of discipleship, a place of learning. And from there I can listen to wisdom and a fool doesn’t see that. A fool is impulsive and willful and doesn’t think of future and the cost of the future. They just do their own silly thing. And so that’s, I think that’s a key Proverb actually.
That’s a great place to start with too, that humble attitude.
So have you ever been frustrated Nicole, with telling your children the right way to do something and then watching them go their own way and “kerboluxing” it up?
Why no, never (laughing). I feel like several times a day.
Oh my goodness, I can remember one of the things that happened repeatedly in our home were tangled necklaces. Over and over I’d say to the girls, that’s a beautiful necklace. If you don’t put it away appropriately, it’s going to tangle and you are going to cry and then they would put it away inappropriately and it would tangle and they would cry. And then Ray or I, or often Dad Gamble who had way more patience than either of us, with tweezers, would try to detangle the tangled necklace.
Sweet man. That’s a lot of work.
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. Mostly they were wonderful little girls, but like their mama before them, sometimes they had to learn the hard way. So how about you?
I think that’s one of the hardest parts of motherhood, Sharon. I think it’s been just watching the girls make mistakes and sometimes purposely doing what I tell them not to do. It’s really hard I think as a mother to watch your kids kind of choose, you know, to stuff that necklace in a drawer and you know they’re going to come back crying in five minutes. You know, it’s tough. And I’ve been telling them those same three things. I think our girls are very similar Sharon.
Absolutely. So we give the advice. Eventually it does sink in, but it takes a while to sink into our children and to us, because let me give you an example of foolishness in my own life that I still struggle with. I have been told time and again, by good cooks that I need to plan in the morning what I’m going to make for dinner in the evening. That is logical. That makes sense. What I want to make might be in the freezer. What I want to make might require an ingredient that I don’t have, but because what I like to do is get to work on writing and you know, doing my Sweet Selah ministries stuff. I can just dive deep and be happily tapping at my keyboard and all of a sudden it’s 4:30 and I’ve no idea what’s for dinner. Or it’s in the freezer or I don’t have the ingredients. So that’s a, that’s like ‘returning to my own vomit’ kind of thing, because then I’ve got to, you know, try to defrost something quickly or give poor Ray Campbell’s chicken soup and a hot dog because what I was going to give him for dinner isn’t thawed out. So not smart, just not smart at all.
I know. I do the same thing. It’s frustrating that we don’t quite grow out of that do we Sharon?
It’s still a struggle some days, but I don’t want to be stuck here. And I think we have the attitude of, we want to learn. So Lord teach us. So what are some lessons we can learn from foolishness so we don’t keep making the same mistakes?
Yes, yes. Yes. Well, lesson number one, foolish people do not listen to wise advice. And going back to our first proverb that says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Let’s go back to that always and get our wisdom from him as our source.
Absolutely. Our second category is all about the foolishness of uncontrolled anger. Lesson number two, foolish people do not control their anger. It gets the best of them. Let’s do our second reading now. Our Sweet Selah moment of Proverbs that reminds us of this. I’ll start with a prayer again as we seek God in listening. Lord, be with us as we read about controlling our temper, Lord. We do not want to be foolish people. We want to be wise Lord and we know that all wisdom comes from you. So open our hearts Lord and help us to listen to these words of wisdom as you tell us how to control our tempers. In your name, Amen.
Amen. Proverbs 14:16: – “The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hot headed and yet feels secure.”
Proverbs 29:9: – “If a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.”
Proverbs 29:11: – “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
Proverbs 14:17: – “A quick tempered person does foolish things. And the one who devises evil schemes is hated.”
Proverbs 14:29: – “People with understanding control their anger, a hot temper shows great foolishness.” Well, the obvious message is that it’s foolish to give full vent to our rage. I feel that was perfectly clear in multiple verses.
I was particularly struck by the second part of Proverbs 29:9: – “The fool rages and scoffs and there is no peace.”
Yeah. It doesn’t accomplish it.
It doesn’t, no. The sad thing about anger is it brings no peace. It stirs up even more trouble and it can literally ruin your physical body as well with high stress levels running on adrenaline all the time, making your heart pump too fast, too often. It hurts us in many ways. We’ve talked about this before in another episode, but we seriously need to deal with our anger and pray for calm and peace. Most of anger comes from wanting to be in control. At least mine does. It really does. When things are out of my control or people are not doing things the way I think they ought to do them. But when we remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, maybe we can relinquish that control to him and run to him with the anger and say, Lord, do you see what this mess is? Instead of unleashing on people and creating a situation and an environment that is hostile and, and not nice at all. I want peace to be around me. I want to be that safe place again.
So I really think it’s letting go of self-centered living, thinking my way is best instead of God’s way.
Yeah. That’s a great place to start.
Yeah. And if I just would run to him, it solves so many things. Just run to God, Sharon, just run to God. And that’s wisdom instead of foolishness.
And we’re not trying to control it.
Right. Foolishness is letting our body control us, basically. Whether that’s the way we eat or the way we speak or the way we shout.
What stood out to you in these verses Nicole?
Proverbs 14:29. It was, “People with understanding control their anger, a hot temper shows great foolishness.” So the comparison to understanding versus foolishness. I don’t want to show a great foolishness. As a follower of Christ I want to mirror him in his actions and nothing is more off putting than a hot temper. What a terrible witness I am when I allow my temper to rule. I’m hoping that understanding helps to convict and remind me to control anger as it boils up. And like you were talking about just not letting our, our physical bodies control us. Whatever our feelings are and whatever our, our circumstances are if we just go to God and give him that control, we’re not going to be fighting our flesh in that. We’ll know that it’s …
Exactly. And I think that that’s something Christians understand well or ought to because we know that we’re more than just a physical body. We know that we have a spirit inside us and that it is separate from the body and Jesus over and over taught us to not let the body control us. When he was in the desert being tempted and he was super hungry, like 40 days without food, and the devil said, just turn this stone into bread and eat. You can do it. He walked away from that and said no to the temptation and the body for the greater good of doing what God had asked him to do, which was to fast. And I have found that in my own life with eating, because I have for too long just eaten what I felt like. And I realized that I was letting my body control me and that what I needed to do was say to my body, it doesn’t really matter if you feel hungry right now, because it’s not time for you to eat.
You actually just ate two hours ago and you can’t possibly be that hungry and starting to get control again over my body. And that, that is wisdom to say, you know, what is wise about sleep? What is wise about food? What is wise about my temper? And act it out. We need to look to the things that bring wisdom and not foolishness.
Absolutely. Well, and the great thing about all of this is even the example of Jesus in the desert denying his flesh. And he hasn’t asked us to do anything that he hasn’t done. He has shown us as he walked on earth, how to control your temper, how to have that righteous anger versus a selfish anger.
How to think about others and he was not foolish. So he is such a perfect example to us. And I love that he doesn’t give us these, these rules and you have to do that. Like he lived them, he lived them and all of them invite us into relationship with him and not just, “follow this rule so you’re good enough. Don’t be foolish so you live a good life. Don’t be angry so that you have peace. Again, they all, all of God’s commands are for our good and everything he gives us to do has a reward or a good consequence to it.
It sure does. Now, when you studied the Proverbs, did you read a chapter a day or a few verses a day?
I did a few verses everyday because I think it was, one to five, I would open up and read it in the morning with the girls. And we skipped the promiscuous woman chapter cause I didn’t think that applied to them.
Not yet. Let’s hope.
There’s a whole chapter and I’m avoiding her, so. But it was really good just to hone in on one or two, sometimes just one like, okay guys, let’s work on controlling our tongues today or to control our tempers or whatever it was. But the Proverbs are fantastic. There’s so much in there about every aspect of life. I love it.
They really are. And I think slow is great. I was thinking to myself, just reading the Proverbs we read today.
That was way enough.
There’s a lot of them in there. There’s so much in there.
If you read too many at a time, I think they would blur. I almost think, cause I’ve been thinking, should I read, you know, a lot of people read the Proverbs every month because there’s 31 chapters.
Oh, I didn’t know that.
So they read one a day. Billy Graham did that. He read five Psalms and one Proverbs every day.
Yes. But I almost wonder if dissecting it even smaller would make sense for my poor brain.
Oh yeah, no, I can only handle one or two. If they’re the same, you know, read a couple on anger.
Right. But just, just to teach me and to remind me of things, because you know what? I forget and that’s why we need to be in the Bible every day because we foolish people walk away with our hats off or dying our hair with cheap hair dye. And we lose so much that we would have if we just stayed in the word and said, teach me, Lord, teach me what I need to know.
Absolutely. And then going back to Proverbs to reread it and I see highlighted verses and I’m like, I don’t remember highlighting that. And I haven’t really been following that. So I need to go read this yet again.
Yeah, yeah. So, and it’s so ironic. I’m looking at Proverbs 14:16: – “The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.” It’s so ironic that you can be so foolish that you can go ahead with your hotheadedness and feel secure in it until it comes back and bites you.
That’s a frightening place to be.
To not know you’re foolish because you can cause so much damage.
Right. Yeah. You can run up the debt for example, on your credit cards beyond when you could pay it. You can tear down your own home with your hands as a wife, by creating a toxic environment where no one wants to be in that house with you. You can push away friendships with a hot temper too, you know, and just have people not really want to be around you.
Oh, so let’s not be foolish.
No, let’s not. Let’s read through the Proverbs again, slow, for this month.
So, well reading them on a regular basis is what we need to do.
To help with daily living. And we hope that this series will help you, the listener, open the book of Proverbs and just dive deep in reading all the wisdom that Solomon has there. So let me pray for us. Heavenly Father, I thank you for the rich, rich gift of your word. Lord, every bit of it is a treasure. And I thank you for the particular treasure of the Proverbs, where so much is taught in so few words. God, would you teach us? Would you give us learner’s hearts? Would you help us to think? Not to think that we know it all. Help us to be willing to be wrong, to be willing to be corrected by you Lord. And, oh Lord, help us to always start with you. The great and mighty King, the One who rules our hearts and who knows us best. God we yield to you today. We know that all wisdom resides in you and we ask that you would help us daily to come to you, to sit quietly and hear what you have to teach us. We love you, Lord. We honor you Lord today. Help us not to be a foolish people. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Amen. Thanks for joining us friends. If you want to study up on a little bit more, check out episode 17 Anger Issues. You can find all our episodes, including that one, by going to Sweetselah.org/podcast. Comments and reviews make us very happy. If you have time, please do write to us or write about us so others can find this podcast. If you would like to contribute to the costs, well, that makes us happy too. Go to our secure giving site sweet selah.org/donations and give. Next week we are going to study friendship. Join us for episode 30 How to Be a Faithful Friend. Until then may God help us all seek his wisdom in our everyday lives. God bless you.
Speaker 1 (27:23):
We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah ministries. More information about this podcast can be found @sweetselah.org. Thank you for joining us.
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