“The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge and inquires after and craves it; but the mouth of the self-confident fools feed on folly.” Proverbs 15:15 (AMP)
“A wise person is hungry for knowledge,
while a fools feed on trash.” Proverbs 15:14 (NLT)
Wise: having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.
Folly: the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
A few weeks back I wrote a post called “I Want to Be a Wise Woman”. In that post, I wrote about being wise… about the path to seeking, and acquiring Godly wisdom. Today, I want to continue down that path because I think there are some real world behaviors that we engage in the directly influence our ability to gain wisdom – Kingdom or otherwise.
Proverbs 15:14 tells us that the wise person seeks out knowledge. To gain knowledge, the would-be wise person must be prepared to spend time reading, studying, learning… on purpose. They must use their time wisely. They must use their energy wisely. They must use the words wisely.
Proverbs 15:14 also tells us that the fool feeds on trash. The fool uses little discretion on what words, sounds, images, ideas, and teachings that they feed on and I suspect little thought as to how they use there time, energy or words. Perhaps you know someone like that. Perhaps that is you?
“The person without the Spirit does not accept
the things that come from the Spirit of God
but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them
because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)
To the fool, the Kingdom teachings they chase may seem probable and can be rightly justified; but does that teaching stick? Are they the sort that may jump from one radical teacher to another – pinning their time, energy and resources on the latest craze or fad.
The wise person will dig deeper, discerning the truth, discovering the nuggets of wisdom in what they are learning. The fool, on the other hand may learn just deep enough to present themselves as knowledgeable. But when pressed, cannot sustain the ideas, concepts or teaching. Their words and ideas have little value.
Note: Rarely in the Bible is “fool” used to convey someone that is feeble minded; rather “fool” can mean anything ranging from naïve but teachable to a hopelessly incorrigible person who deserves no corrective effort since such will be in vain.
Sadly, more often though the fools spends his time feeding, and filling up on garbage. They see little value to adding to their knowledge – to study, learn, understand, and comprehend. That they leave to the 30 minute teaching on Sunday morning. Kingdom wisdom, words, ideas, images, sights and sounds have NO spiritual nutritional value to them.
So, that begs the question… which am I. Am I wise or am I a fool? What am I feeding into my heart, mind, thoughts, and spirit? Where am I spending my time, energy, resources, and thoughts? What am I learning? What am I seeking? Kingdom wisdom or worldly wisdom?
So, is there such a thing as Biblical GI/GO? (Garbage In/Garbage Out)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think”
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Where is your mind? Where are your eyes? Where are your ears? A recent television commercial proudly proclaimed that you can now watch television in every room of your house on every device you own. You can now feed your ears and eyes (your mind) with a never ending stream of sights and sounds. Is there really anything wrong with that? That is a question that only you can decide for yourself.
But, you really must do your due diligence. Is there eternal value in what you are allowing to enter your mind? How will those sights serve your life? Will they serve you in a positive, negative or neutral way? Might your life be better served focusing on other things?
Worldly wisdom or Godly wisdom
I have been on this earth for nearly 60 years. I dare say that (in my opinion only) that our secular society is on a moral downhill slide. We are on a run away freight train careening headlong out of control and there is no one willing to put the brakes on.
Ask yourself… of my behaviors, habits, actions, deeds…
Which ones produce failure, frustration and a fruitless, empty life?
Which ones produce success, peace-filled, and fruit-filled abundant life?
Does the answer to those questions come easy? Does answering those questions cause your spirit to rise up just a tad? Does answering those questions bring angry or anxious feelings? Or is it an easy choice.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I know my answers to those questions. The answers are so very simple.
I want successful life.
I want a peace-filled life.
I want a fruit-filled life.
I want an abundant life.
I want a blessed life
I want Godly wisdom.
But how much do I want it, and how do I gain it
Do I want it enough to go against the current mores of society? Enough to pursue it with energy and passion? Enough to give up some of my leisure activities and devote that time to the study and learning of the Kingdom?
What would it take for me to have a successful, fruit-filled abundant life?
First I would have to come face to face with my truths. What is my GI/GO?
To what am I in bondage? Laziness? Lack of discipline? Time wasters?
Ask yourself – what are you in bondage to?
Once I define what has me bound. I can them face them and decide what to do about these areas. First of all, of course, I must repent of this sin and ask God to heal me in this area and set me free from the hold that it has on me. In addition, I will pray and ask God to reveal other areas in my life that are holding me back; areas that perhaps I am not even aware of.
Remember, if you ask God to show you the areas of your life that are “not quite”… He will show you. God will never condemn your actions or behaviors. His Spirit will lovingly show you how, and guide you, to be healed of these behaviors that have you bound.
Perhaps you’re struggling point is lack of discipline. I know that I struggle with that too. But really, how hard is it to push the power off button on the remote, or to logout of FaceBook, or close down Pinterest. Yes I do understand totally! It would be illogical to think that our struggle with lack of discipline affects only on aspect of our life. If we are serious with ourselves, we can admit that our lack of discipline has an affect on many areas of our lives – home, personal, spiritual, and professional.
Time Wasters – I have a problem with FaceBook games. There I’ve admitted it. That doesn’t mean that I have the answers on what to do to take back my time. On the other hand, I am not much of a television watcher. But according to a NY Times article from 2012, the average American spends 34 hours per week watching television with an additional 3 – 6 hours per week of taped TV. Seriously, just how much reality TV can we watch?
We each have to be honest with ourselves. Is there something else that would be a better place not just for your time, but your mind? Your eyes? Your ears? Your heart?
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with much needed downtime. We all need time to sometimes just sit and do nothing whether it’s a FaceBook game or an hour of television. My only caution then becomes what we are putting into our eyes and our minds… and those of our children that might be watching with us. (more thoughts on that in another post) My momma always used to ask me this question… would I do thus and such if Jesus were sitting there with me? Remember, if you only put garbage in, you can only get garbage out.
Direction and Discernment
Have you spent time asking God for guidance, directions and discernment for what His purpose is for your life?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 (NIV)
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declared the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
What does the Word say about discernment?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God” Proverbs 2:1-5 (NLT)
What is my direction? What is my path? What is His purpose for me? These are questions that I struggle with too. I wish I could say that I had all the answers. I don’t.
What I do know is that when you have discerned His purpose for your life, you will know where He wants your eyes and your ears. Then you will know how He wants you to fill your mind. He will guide you to what He has for you. Then you will know that what you put in is life affirming. He will fill you with wisdom and knowledge for the things He has planned for you.
It’s time to take the garbage out. Don’t let the foul, ugly, unpleasant stuff hold you in bondage any longer. Don’t let it stink up the place for another minute. Let His love and forgiveness wash you clean.
Fill that clean empty space. Research, learn, study, absorb…become the person with the Kingdom knowledge and watch yourself grow as you take your place on the path where God want to plant you. He wants so much to watch you flourish and prosper. You will begin to feel it as your life changes, your confidence soars, your knowledge expands, your desire for more of the kingdom increase, then let the fullness of the Kingdom knowledge be a blessing to others.
For some time now, there is a holy unrest stirring in my spirit. I don’t know that I could describe it… other than to say that I personally feel compelled to read and learn and study and write and above all… pray. Pray for guidance, wisdom, discernment and purpose. My hope is that you will feel that holy unrest as well and you will join me on the journey.