January 09, 2023

Listening to the Warnings

Devotion for the Week...

Over my 20 years of looking after toddlers and preschoolers (my own and other people's), I wouldn't even be able to count the number of times I have warned, "Stop spinning (running in the house, dancing on that chair, walking on those blocks, etc) or you're going to get hurt." Another frequent warning is, "Watch where you're going! The walls (fridge, cupboards, table, etc) are not going to move out of your way." Often the kids don't listen and before long I have to console someone who has fallen or hit the corner of the wall or otherwise managed to hurt themselves. When this happens, I always point out that "This is why I told you not to _____." Eventually, I hope, they will realize that I do know what I'm talking about, so they should listen to my warnings. It's a slow process, especially because all the things I'm telling them not to do are fun, until of course they get so dizzy they smack into the fridge.

Those many warnings are what I thought of this week when I read the words of Wisdom personified in Proverbs. As part of her first speech, Wisdom says, "They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes" (Proverbs 1:30-31). Essentially, when we reap the results of not listening to her, Wisdom will say "This is why I told you not to_____."

Obviously Wisdom is not an actual person who will say anything when bad things happen to us. She's also not able to correct us or give us warnings. But just because there isn't a real person named Wisdom doesn't diminish the availability of warnings. Sometimes warnings will be written out in the Bible, in plain words, "You must not steal" (Exodus 20: 15), other warnings will come through the Holy Spirit, giving us a sense that something we're doing is not a good idea. Other times the warnings will come through friends or family who have suffered because of their own actions and tell us their stories so we don't have to learn those lessons the hard way. Still other warnings will be disguised as common sense, like staying out of debt or making sure we get enough exercise.

No matter where the warnings come from, it is always our choice whether or not to heed them. We can choose to eat nothing but junk food and never exercise. We can choose to put everything on credit cards and never pay more than the minimum required payment. We can choose to lie to our spouse or on our tax returns. 

What's more, doing those things could be appealing. Junk food tastes good. Exercise is hard. Living within our means is hard. Telling the truth can be scary and uncomfortable. And paying taxes is most definitely not fun. 
Are we listening to wisdom | DevotedQuilter.com
In the face of those unwise temptations, Wisdom (meaning all the sources of wisdom I mentioned, and more) points out the right way to go and the possible consequences if we choose a different path. She's always nearby, waving her arms and shouting her warnings. The question is, are we listening to her?

1 comment:

  1. Happy new year! Listening to wisdom...good way to start a new year. Thanks for the post.


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