Proverbs – Life Skills
Our passage today points out the extreme opposite characteristics of learners versus fools or “loonies”. We also learn the outcomes of both. What is a loonie or fool? The definition of a loonie is “someone deranged and possibly dangerous. crazy, nutcase, weirdo.
A learner is one who knows they never knows it all. As soon as a learner gets a grasp on some piece of knowledge they admit they have only begun to learn. A learner never ceases to learn for if they stop they know they have ceased to be a learner. A strong, true leader is a learner. A learner prays for wisdom, insight and understanding.
Which one do we follow and admire and want to imitate?
Which one are we?
What do we fall for in our quest to live skillfully? What do we need to avoid?
Proverbs 12, The Message
If You Love Learning
If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—how shortsighted to refuse correction!
2 A good person basks in the delight of God,
and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.
3 You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
but life rooted in God stands firm.
4 A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.
5 The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
the plots of degenerates corrupt.
6 The words of the wicked kill;
the speech of the upright saves.
7 Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
the homes of good people hold together.
8 A person who talks sense is honored;
airheads are held in contempt.
9 Better to be ordinary and work for a living
than act important and starve in the process.
10 Good people are good to their animals;
the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them.
11 The one who stays on the job has food on the table;
the witless chase whims and fancies.
12 What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin,
while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.
Wise People Take Advice
13 The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.
14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
well-done work has its own reward.
15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
wise people take advice.
16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
the prudent quietly shrug off insults.
17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air,
but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.
18 Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.
19 Truth lasts;
lies are here today, gone tomorrow.
20 Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
peace-planning brings joy to the planner.
21 No evil can overwhelm a good person,
but the wicked have their hands full of it.
22 God can’t stomach liars;
he loves the company of those who keep their word.
23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
24 The diligent find freedom in their work;
the lazy are oppressed by work.
25 Worry weighs us down;
a cheerful word picks us up.
26 A good person survives misfortune,
but a wicked life invites disaster.
27 A lazy life is an empty life,
but “early to rise” gets the job done.
28 Good men and women travel right into life;
sin’s detours take you straight to hell.
WHAT WE LEARN…
Like Paul writes, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:12-14, NIV
Paul was a learner. He became a true learner when he met Christ on the road to Damacus. Jesus told him what he didn’t know and led him to salvation. It was only then did the know-it-all religious leader become the humble learner who began a loving relationship with Jesus. It was then that Paul began to learn all that Jesus wanted to teach him. Paul passed on this knowledge of Christ to others who were taught to learn as well as to pass this learning on to others. (See also 2 Timothy 2:2)
We are thankful for Paul the Learner who taught others to be learners.
Again, we ask ourselves, are we a learner?
Do we think we know so much about God’s Word that we can stop reading and rely on our fading memories of what we think He said to us?
A learning stays in the Word, meditates over the Word, prays for wisdom from the Word, because the Word is God and God wants to speak to us through His Word. Daily.
Learner or Loonie?
One who ceases to learn is no longer a learner. The word disciple, translated from the original Greek, means “one who learns.”
Learning is wisdom. Wisdom is Jesus. Never stop learning.
We dance with the devil when we cease to learn more about what You want for our lives. We fall for anything evil dishes out by not chewing and meditating on your word that is food for our very souls. I have not attained all the knowledge and wisdom you have to give me. So I press on as I learn more about you. Thank you for consistently teaching me in your ways. Thank you for correcting me and pulling me back to you when I stray. Help me to stay focused on you and keep learning and growing in your ways.
In Jesus Name, Amen