July 22, 2020, 1:00 AM

L  I  V  I  N   G     W  I  S  E  L  Y

07/19/2020

PROVERBS 14:8-15 (NLT)

The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves. 9 Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.10 Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. 11 house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish. 12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. 13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. 14 Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward. 15 Only simpletons believe everything they’re told!  The prudent carefully consider their steps.

 

I.  A prudent person is one that is skilled in the art of critical thinking.

What is critical thinking? Critical thinking is developed by one's ability to objectively analyze information with discernment or common-sense.

A critical thinker will be critical or leery of new concepts and information; thus, they will verify and trust reliable sources, facts, and will do exhaustive research to determine the validity of what is being presented before drawing conclusions.

Therefore, a prudent person, when they follow the insights gained from their critical thinking skills, will be able to draw practical conclusions from their research. Their discerning or discriminating skills, being honed, will be able to separate the truth from deception and misleading statements.

Having this understanding of how critical thinkers draw their conclusions makes verse eight understandable.                                    

Notice this truth from verse 8,  8 The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.

 

II. Notice the effects of guilt from the scope of a fool, and that of a prudent or wise person.

What is guilt? The dictionary describes guilt as “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.”

Fools, who are mostly driven by emotion will reject the feeling of responsibility or remorse for their indefensible decisions. Fools are notorious for turning to mind-altering substances (drugs/alcohol- etc.) to relieve themselves of the torment of their guilty conscience. Obviously, the foolish decision to rely on mind-altering substances to relieve their anguish leads to more bad decisions.

Contrast the way a prudent or critical thinker responds to guilt. When a prudent person is confronted with an accusation of wrongdoing they will analyze the accusation, they will search for the truth in the accusation, and if they conclude the accusation is correct they will offer to make things right. If false accusations are made against a wise person, the facts will defend their position of innocence.

Notice this truth from verse nine, 9 Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.

Again, foolish people look at the value of life through the prism of thrills. Thus, with no long-term plans to build a life of worth, that is not derived by momentary thrills, their legacy with be that of an abject fool!

Now, contrast the life of a prudent person who thoughtfully plans their work, and then works their plans can obtain both short-term happiness and long-term joy. They are truly blessed because they are completely satisfied.

Notice this truth from verse 11,  11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish.

 

III.  Notice how fools make decisions based on their feelings instead of critically thinking of the life-altering consequences of their decisions.

Every day, we are forced to make decisions. Some of these decisions do not require active thinking such as breathing, eating, dressing, and grooming.

Where decisions get dicey comes when we have to engage our minds; thus, our minds are engaged when details are required.

While many of these daily decisions have to do with insular options such as what to eat and wear or when to groom or not- these types of decisions are not life-altering.

There is an interesting observation about a person’s character that is derived from how they make even the petty or non-life altering decisions. It is clear, folks who make foolish decisions that pertain to trivial decisions, are just as likely to make irrational decisions that have the potential to dramatically alter their lives and the lives of others due to the unavoidable consequences embedded in their rash decisions.

Notice this truth in verse 12, 12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

 

CONCLUSION

For a person to enjoy all the benefits of living wisely, they must make it a priority to apply common-sense and or their critical thinking skills before making decisions, whether they are petty or life-altering.

This truth is affirmed in verse 1515 Only simpletons, which are ignorant, foolish and silly, believe everything they’re told! The prudent, or critical thinkers, carefully consider their steps.

With these truths in mind, may we continue to pursue wisdom by developing and honing the critical thinking skills that help us make wise decisions- that will benefit our lives and enrich the lives of those around us.

Post a Comment