The Bible Edge
Practical Points to Ponder from Proverbs
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
Why does a fool have no delight in understanding? The fool does nothing, or little, to understand. They read not, study not, question not, listen not, discern not, pray not, and observe not, for if they did, they may accidently gain some understanding. But they do not delight in understanding, they do not want to understand, they only want to believe what they believe, know what they know, draw conclusions without input, and they are their only counselor.
But why not try to understand? Because by doing so their heart may discover itself and find out that they are a fool. We’ve all done this; all have been guilty of this foolish snare.
Here is a personal example. Years ago, I worked for United Parcel Service. For two years I was a part time loader/unloader and for two years I was a part time supervisor. During my first few days I worked with others on “the belt” (the moving belt that moved packages throughout the building). As we “picked” the packages off the belt and put them on the roller mechanism in the trailer for the “packers” to stack them in the trailer we would talk. We’d learn of each other’s school, plans for college, life dreams, cars, whatever. This would make the time pass a little faster. Every person on this shift warned me to be careful about working with so and so. “He is weird,” “He is lazy,” “He is odd,” “He is a liar,” on and on they would criticize this outcast. I began to wonder, If this man was so bad, why don’t they fire him. I grew to dislike this person, mistrust him, and just had a bad opinion of a man I didn’t know. I probably even spread some of this gossip to others.
Then came the day. I was assigned to work with “so and so.” I was dreading it and treated him poorly. The next night I was assigned to be with him again. Then again, for about a week or so. Do you know what? He wasn’t all bad. Yes, he saw things a little differently, he wasn’t one of the crowd so to speak and a bit of an outlier. But he was very smart, highly intelligent, and a very good teammate doing his share of the work. He was in his senior year of law school at a very prestigious university in our area. Over the years I learned that most great lawyers, and preachers for that matter, see things differently than others. They have to, it’s a gift given them by God to do the job they do.
I learned not to listen to others but to draw my own conclusions. That lesson has aided me in many ways over the last 47 years. I do not believe I would be a very good pastor if God had not taught me this simple lesson years ago.
I did not want to understand, but being forced to understand my heart discovered itself and I realized I was a fool. The Bible edge for today is to try to gain understanding, your heart may discover itself, and you will be the better for it.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.