“…fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7b
I struggle with living a disciplined life, organized by healthy, productive habits. It seems so much easier (and more romantic) to play life by ear encountering each day as it comes.
At the same time, I desire to be wise. I want to be someone who makes decisions that powerfully impact the present and the future.
You can’t be the latter (wise) without the former (discipline). This truth bothers me.
Why does it bother me?
The answer to that question lies in this verse’s introductory phrase.
“Fear (deep respect) of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge…” Proverbs 1:7a
Knowledge of truth that leads to wisdom comes only from the Lord and is acquired only through maintaining a deep respect for Him. Respect requires humility. Humility is an unnatural human quality. Humility comes only through effectively managing pride. The management of pride requires discipline.
Free of disciplined management, pride thinks for us. Pride seethes in the presence of instruction. Pride mocks thoughts of selflessness and sacrifice. It encourages standing our ground, uncompromisingly holding positions for the sake of being right. Pride lords over compassion and pursues isolation in the guise of personal freedom. Pride makes us fools.
So, does a fool set out to despise wisdom and discipline? No.
A fool comes to despise wisdom and discipline because pride short circuits their decision making process. They choose self over surrender. They choose ease over discipline. They choose lies (I know…) over truth (The Lord knows…).
My choice to live an undisciplined (unstructured) life doesn’t make me “king of my castle”, free to do what I want when I want. It makes me a “fool to my pride” bound by my ever-changing focus and whims. I end up treading water endlessly, climbing the same hills repeatedly, and not getting where I want to go. As I look around, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Which of your choices today indicate signs of foolishness, despising wisdom and/or discipline?