“I just love reading the Book of Proverbs,” Stan began. “It has so much to say about foolishness and wisdom in the way I’m to live my faith walk.”
Continuing, he said, “This morning I read and reflected on a single verse that covers my entire relationship with God.”
“Your entire relationship with God in a single verse?” I replied. “What did it say?”
“Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge,” Stan responded.
“Well,” I said, “I can see how that applies to life in general, but how does that apply to your walk with God?”
“I see this as applying in at least two ways.” Stan replied. “In the first instance, it was necessary for me to leave the presence of my foolish self in order to accept God’s free gift of salvation. For way too long, I was a fool by not seeing and accepting all God had provided for me through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.”
“Leaving the presence of the fool in the sense of denying yourself. Is that what you’re saying?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And that same leaving the fool continues on in being a disciple. I have to continually choose to leave that fool behind.”
“Okay,” I said, “that’s one thing. What’s the other?”
“The second part of the verse deals with discerning words of knowledge,” Stan replied. “This strikes me as zeroing in on exactly how Jesus defined eternal life for this side of eternity.”
“Remind me,” I said.
“That eternal life is all about knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son,” Stan replied, “and it seems to me that’s the knowing that occurs on this side of eternity.”
“So,” he continued, “this is another instance of leaving the presence of my foolish self so I can pursue knowing God. If I don’t choose to leave the fool behind, there is no way I’m going to be able to be and to do what it is God intends for me by knowing Him.”
“And that is the walk from conversion towards transformation and spiritual maturity?” I asked.
“You’ve got that right, my friend,” Stan said. “Won’t happen until I choose to leave the presence of the fool!”
Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge. Proverbs 14:7.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the people you brought into my life to show me the foolishness of being separated from you on both sides of eternity. Thank you for showing me the truth so I have the assurance of spending eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, for allowing me to pursue knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I still tend to be foolish in not pursuing that knowledge as fully as you intend, as fully as you have available. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead away from being a fool, and towards being only who and what you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What does “leaving the presence of a fool” look like to you? Are there fools in your life you need to leave behind? Is one of them you? Are you foolish in not accepting and pursuing all that God has for you on both sides of eternity? If so, what can you do about it? Are you willing to do that? If yes, do you know how? If you are not so willing, why not? What’s holding you back?