Prudence Or Folly
Proverbs 13:16 (ESV) – Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
I saw a post recently of an elevator video of a young man peeing on the floor numbers of the elevator as he rode. By the time he finished, the elevator stopped, arriving at his floor. However the door would not open. The buttons of the elevator started flashing and glitching. The lights flickered in the elevator. He was stuck. Urinating on the buttons caused some sort of electrical breakdown of the elevator.
This is a perfect picture of our passage today. We read in Proverbs 13:16, “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.”
What does this mean? The comparison here is between the wise and the fool. Proverbs loves to show this comparison. The book of proverbs is a part of the wisdom literature in Scripture. It exists to show us the way of wisdom. Most are penned by the wisest man to ever live, Solomon. He rules as king of Israel after his father David. He prayed for the LORD to give him wisdom, and God answered.
Solomon writes that a prudent man acts with knowledge. A prudent man is a wise man. It is the man who considers his actions carefully. In this case, Solomon outlines that the prudent man acts with knowledge. He considers the situation and circumstances, which informs how he proceeds forward. The fool is not like this. The fool acts brashly and without knowledge. The fool never considers the consequences of his actions. He flaunts his folly by continuously acting with such thoughtlessness.
We need to seek wisdom.
One aspect of growing in Christlikeness is to grow in wisdom. We put folly to death. Maturity as believers includes growth in wisdom and putting away our foolish actions. We do this through growing in our knowledge of God’s Word.
God’s Word helps us walk in wisdom. We do this by learning from other wise people. The church is a gift to our development. And we do this by learning to think before acting. We need to consider the full scope of knowledge available to us before we act. This is how the prudent live. May God teach us prudence and spare us folly.
Reflection & Journal:
- How does the fool flaunt his folly?
- What are ways we grow in wisdom and knowledge?
- What are some ways you’ve acted foolishly in your life and suffered the consequences?
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