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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 17:24

"Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth"

This is an interesting proverb in that it can be understood in at least two directions.

One is that wisdom is found by paying close attention to the connections and reactions between people and things; i.e., the understanding. And the person who is wise pays attention to these things, constantly being alert to the connections that are all around them.

In this understanding the fool is the one who says that wisdom is not knowable and is beyond the ends of the earth or in heaven or some far off place. So one might as well live for oneself. This idea is what Deuteronomy 30:11-14 is trying to combat: That doing God's will is so deep and complicated that it makes no sense.

A second view of this proverb is that the fool is the one who is trying to understand wisdom and understanding in the abstract world – or in the world that is beyond the real world. He spends his time spinning theories and ideas that sound plausible but have little connection to this world. The fool, by this account, is a dreamer and a person who dwells in an abstract or even pretend world.

It is clear that the person who has a firm grasp on wisdom is the one who grasps real connections, reactions, and interactions with real people in the here and now of their life. If I do this, then this will happen. If I say that, then this will happen. If I have this kind of mood, then people will treat me this way. If I speak with this kind of tone, then I will get this kind of reaction. So much of how we are treated and the opportunities that we receive are the result of our own actions and reactions.

The fool just wants to believe that he doesn’t have any control over so much of his life; he is just floating along with the forces of nature, God, and huge institutions arrayed against him. NO. Start doing something about your actions, speech, and attitude right now.

What we all need to realize about living wisely and having a great life is that our actions and reactions are the keys to living in the state of wisdom.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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