Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:2
"A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind"
The word fool is the Hebrew word kesil which means dull or obstinate – not in their intellectual gifts but in their moral and volitional gifts. This is the selfish, rebellious, and impulsive proud person. There are three words used in Proverbs for fool: kesil, ewil, and nabal. Each of these words emphasizes a slightly different character trait of the same type of person. Kesil emphasizes the obstinate rebellious person who makes consistently wrong choices. Ewil is the word which emphasizes that this person does not respect moral boundaries, only his/her own wants. Nabal focuses on the anger and meanness of this type of individual, forcing others to try and get their way.
The proverb opens with what the fool does not take great delight in which they should. The word delight is the Hebrew word hapes which means to feel great favor towards something. The person who is wise takes delight and finds great enjoyment in discerning the reasons things happen – the quality of understanding – tebuna in the Hebrew. The fool only cares about getting their own way. They do not have any curiosity about how systems work or why things happen the way they do. They only care about what they have become fixated upon – their own selfish desires.
Have you become fixated upon what would make you happy and refuse to probe into what would make your marriage better or your family more enjoyable or your career move forward?
The great danger is that we all feel the impulse that the fool does. We all want to talk about what we are thinking about; what we believe about something; what we want; how things impact us. But that is not what a wise person does. The wise person investigates and pursues insight and discernment. The wise person makes sure that they have the facts. They take great delight in finding the real reasons things happen.
Stop and ask yourself: do most of your conversations involve telling others what you already know or do they involve asking questions, listening, probing, etc. If all you talk about is what you already know, then you are well down the road to becoming a fool. Learn something new and take delight in penetrating beneath the surface. Do not fixate upon yourself; there is a whole world of delights that don't involve you. God's world is full of surprises. Become wise; it will be a great time.