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Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:26


"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered"

Solomon points out a foolish impulse that most of us feel: our ideas are right; they make so much sense; they feel like the right thing to do; we don't need to check with other people before implementing them. Solomon is trying to say, in a different way, what he said when he reminded us that wisdom finds counsel and knowledge. We will not live a life of wisdom if we do not seek counsel and let wise and godly people have some measure of veto power in our lives.

trusts

This is the Hebrew word batah which means trust in, feel safe, confident. The idea is that one relies upon the object of trust. In this case Solomon points out that some people immediately embrace their own ideas and act upon them without running them past others or checking them against some objective standard.

own heart

This is the Hebrew word leb which means the inner man, the soul, the mind, will, emotions. Just because an idea seems right to you does not make it the right thing to do. Have the wisdom to realize that many ideas sound right to their inventor, but they need to be checked with others before it is acted upon.

fool

This is the Hebrew word kesil which means fool. It refers to the person who is morally deficient, the person who is stubborn, and one who consistently makes wrong choices. In this case Solomon is pointing out that this foolish person makes wrong choices because they don't check their impulses and ideas with other people before they act. So in order to avoid this kind of "wreck my life" foolishness, take the time to ask people who are wiser than you about your latest impulse or idea BEFORE you do it.

I see the tragic results of this kind of foolishness in young people all the time, and unfortunately it can become a life-altering way of living. A teen gets an impulse to say something that they feel needs to be said to a teacher or policeman. A teen gets an idea for revenge against someone who did them wrong and they do something illegal. A teen decides to just skip an important test because school isn't that important. A teen decides that to be cool they should start taking the drugs. A teen decides that in order to hang onto a boyfriend, they should consummate the relationship. A teen decides that in order to not be bullied, they will start carrying a knife or a gun to school. A teen decides to run away to be free from their parents restricting them from their stuff. There are all kinds of things that may seem like the right thing to do, but they are foolish and could really mess up your life. They feel right to you but if you check with a few other people, the foolishness will be exposed. All of us have impulsive ideas that are really bad come to our mind; develop the ability to not act on them no matter how good they sound to you.

walks

This is the Hebrew word halik which means walk, journey. In this case it is being used as a metaphor for life. Life is a journey and how you live it is determined by the choices that you make.

wisely

This is the Hebrew word hokma which means wisdom. It is the person who looks for the triple win: God wins, others win, and you win. It means that you have consulted with others; you don't feel like you are a repository of wisdom all by yourself. You realize that you can be wrong.

delivered

This is the Hebrew word malat which means delivered, escape, saved. The idea here is that if we were to do many of the dumb ideas that come to our mind, we would be in a lot of trouble. When we have the courage to check our ideas with others and seek counsel, we are delivered from the trouble that is waiting to attack us if we do the thing that seems so right to us.

In sports there is a saying that says, "Some of the best trades are the ones you don't make" which means that sometimes teams could trade players but it will be a disaster -- it just looked like a good idea. In a way Solomon is saying the same thing. There are all kinds of ideas that you will have; but if you develop the discipline to not act on your ideas until you have sought counsel and knowledge, you will be delivered from a host of troubles.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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