“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 26:12 NIV
Proverbs 26 to me seems a little bit weird in the way it is set out, obviously it was written many many years ago as it tells us that these sayings of King Soloman (970-931BC) were written down by the men of King Hezikiah (715-686BC).
Proverbs 26 gives us 11 full sayings about ‘fools’, I had a bit of a think as I read them and didn’t really feel they applied to me so just kept reading one by one absorbing what I could and trying to think of a situation that I could apply them too in my life, do I need to share them, are they me, what can I learn, etc. but nothing came to me that was too specific. The next verse is where it got interesting. In verse 12 after we have read 11 other verses about how ‘fools are like dogs returning to their vomit’ (vs11) we read something new, something about the opposite of fools, wisdom, but it is not what I expected. If I don’t regard myself as fool then I must consider myself as the opposite, wise.
The verse goes: “Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 26:12 NIV
What a slap in the face that is, it has literally taken me 2 minutes to really think about the fools the bible is spelling out to me and justifying to myself that ‘I am no fool, I am wise’ and bang, slap in the face God says ‘well now that we have established that you can’t be a fool and you’re really proud of that fact, there is a category that is even worse which you definitely fit into’ …’the proud idiot who thinks he isn’t a fool’.
It is very interesting to see how quickly we can become self assured and arrogant, it took me 11 verses to think myself better than all those other people that pop into my mind as fools, yet God reveals to us that we are all fools, we all fall short, no one is wise unless he makes you wise. Humility is the only way to wisdom.
Just a thought.
I guess that Proverbs 26 isn’t set out weird at all, it is perfect to show fools like me that we are in fact fools.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 (NLT)
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2 (NLT)