Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge. Proverbs 14:7
If we spend too much time with the wrong people, our inner world is adversely affected. Our parents said it this way, “Choose your friends wisely.” They knew that playing soccer together was one thing but hanging out by the hour and talking was another. It’s the latter that has the potential to defile. Spend enough time with a person and there will be hours of sharing. First, there will be an intellectual exchange. Eventually, we could feel comfortable enough to disclose more personal things and lose our objectivity about what should come out of our mouths.
Many of us have given our heart to a fool. A fool is one who scoffs at God’s ways and charts his own course. Perhaps the fool is in our family. How do we act on Solomon’s advice and guard our hearts? Perhaps the real message today is – Keep your wits about you. Stay sharp on acknowledging who follows God and who does not. Don’t seek personal advice from someone who does not know God well. Their ‘wisdom’ is not wisdom. Trusting the words of a fool, in any respect, is like playing Russian roulette with your life.
All in all, be careful with whom you share your heart. Be discerning before you unveil the precarious and fragile work of God in your own heart with someone who will not recognize it for what it is. Solomon says it well later on in Proverbs. “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.” 23:9 Personally, I know the pain of opening my mouth about spiritual things in the company of someone who scoffed and questioned. Self-doubt set in afterwards and I kicked myself for being so careless.
Proverbs are ‘generally true sayings’ and if we take them to heart, they really do provide a reliable schematic for how to live in safety. The difficulty is acknowledging bad alliances and making course corrections. Setting new parameters in existing relationships requires a schematic only God can provide. May He keep us humble, teachable, and courageous enough to implement tough changes.
God, it’s hard to call someone a fool. Even harder to say that I am acting foolish. I will choose to follow Your words and live wisely in your circle of safety. In Jesus’ name, Amen