The wise man knows that he is not perfect and is willing to get instruction. Not so with the wicked. And the heart and mouth prove this out.
Still staying close to my bible helps breakdown of sections. They actually had verse 15 standing alone but then said how the rest of this section proves out what happens when one refuses or accepts instruction. I figured this was enough to put them together. So let’s see where the Spirit takes us with this today.
We are looking again at the difference between the righteous and the wicked. Today they are the fool and the wise man. Solomon is not talking about someone who is uneducated or untrained when he references the “fool”. He is speaking of one who has determined in his heart there is no God and chooses to live as such. Likewise, the “wise” man is not one of higher education or great training but one who KNOWS God. He lives his life in such a way as to please and honor God.
The wise man knows he still has a LOT to learn. The “fool” has even more to learn but he refuses to believe that. No one can convince the fool any different. His foolishness invades all aspects of his life because it is rooted in his heart. Today we see again what trouble his mouth can get him in.
When reading the verses for today again, I got a mental image of a belligerent customer. Any of us who have worked in retail business know who I’m talking about. Anyone who has stood in multiple likes knows him/her too. Let’s take a closer look at him/her.
This person is always in a hurry and no one can do anything right, not even the customers in front of him/her. He/she is the foot tapper, the constant watch checker, the one making audible signs of impatience and annoyance. This person will argue over the price of an item at the drop of a hat and then be frustrated when someone has to go and verify the information. He/She will exaggerate the amount of time spent waiting. He/she will try and get away with goods that haven’t been paid for. One example is someone I know who will switch shoes in one shoe box to one with a lower price tag. If challenged, they will say, “It was like that when I found it.” This person is rude to everyone around them and no one can do anything right by their standards. They won’t keep their annoyance to themselves and may become verbally abusive to those around them.
I have to admit to being the watch checker from time to time, especially when I’m in a hurry. I’ve even argued the price of an item but it is always with cause and patience. I PRAY this is where our similarities end!
The good customer is patient. He/she recognizes that everyone has needs and it takes time to meet them. He/she can see themselves on the other side of the interaction and treats others as they wish to be treated. If there is a price question they patiently wait for the resolution and accept the answer given. They are honest and pay what is required. They are polite to those around them and offer a smile to those they meet. If they suffer insult from those around them they don’t react in kind. He/she may even offer words of encouragement to those they encounter.
I BELIEVE I have been the “good customer” more than the “belligerent” one. Even when I have felt stressed I try and at least have a kind word or a smile for the clerk. My favorite memories of being the “good” shopper come from times when I tried to reduce the stress of others around me. On one “Black Friday” shopping outing, my daughter and I sang Christmas carols while waiting in line to lighten the mood. Several customers smiled at us and complemented our attitudes. I have had many clerks thank me for my patience when I followed a belligerent customer or one that took more time than usual. I don’t take the frustration of those around me personally and keep my mouth shut when tempted to respond in kind.
ALL of these attitudes come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the heart. Those who are always angry spill it out onto others. Where there is no peace in a person there will be no peace around them. This isn’t the peace that you would find in a quiet room with relaxing music but the peace that comes from a personal relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s His peace poured into you so you can pour it out on others. “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.” THAT is the bottom line difference between the “fool” and the “wise” man. “Out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). I have a feeling that MANY of the proverbs brought out for us will carry this same foundation. It is vital to life itself!
Father God, THANK YOU for filling my heart with Your Spirit. Thank You for the music You have placed there too. Often, finding a song is the BEST way to chase away the frustration, especially if it is one about You. Help me use this technique when frustrated at home too. I want my heart to be SO FULL of Your peace that frustration can’t reach me. I have a feeling that this is a TALL order for me but I’m willing to work on it, with YOUR help. Thanks for teaching me how to keep my mouth shut, at least more than I used to do. And for teaching me to use reason and understanding when I do open it.