Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:9
"Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools."
Solomon is warning us not to try and sound wise when we live foolish and also to not pay attention to those who spout platitudes but are nothing but selfish blowhards in how they live.
Solomon is not interested in how nice you can talk; he wants to see how you live. Do you seek to love God and others first with what you do? Then Solomon will listen to how you say life should be lived. If, however, you are just telling people to live in some way that you don't live, then Solomon is not interested and neither should we be.
There is a great danger in our society that we have the great speakers teach us how to live instead of having the people who have lived great. We listen to people who have degrees in parenting telling us how to raise our children instead of those who have raised great kids. We listen to people who have been divorced multiple times tell us how to have a successful marriage because they are good speakers and funny to listen to.
Solomon screams at us: Look for the person who is doing a great job at what you want to know and ask them to tell you what they did. Even though it may not be easy to listen to, you will get the real stuff.
A proverb is a pithy saying that is designed to condense how to live down to a memorable saying. The problem is that wisdom always demands selflessness in order to be activated.
The drunk does not feel the thorn in their hand, so the selfish person does not feel the impact of the weighty saying that they know how to recite.
I was noticing in the paper today that an author was being castigated for stealing sayings from another book written 50+ years before. One of the sayings was about cheating and stealing. When the writer was caught, he just said that he had not said that the sayings were original with him.
We don't need any more preachers, teachers, experts, politicians, or newscasters who tell us how to live and do not practice what they preach.