Jan 4, 2012

Only a Fool...

I was reading this morning in a book recommended by a friend, The Power of a Praying Wife. It is a really good book, kind of like a devotional that teaches a woman how to go to God in prayer with requests about her relationship instead of trying to "fix" things herself. It teaches quiet submission, but not doormat cowardliness - if that makes any sense.

Anyway, reading the book every morning has been something I look forward to. The author's quick wit and down to earth answers are very relational, and you immediately feel a kindredness with her. BUT, there is a disclaimer in the beginning of the book...it basically says that while reading through its pages, you will most likely be convicted - yep that's right...you, the wife. And, it's true.

It's like sitting in a really good sermon, and saying, "I really hope so-and-so is here tonight to hear this." And then you get smoked by the Holy Spirit who says something to the tune of, "I hope you are taking notes for yourself. If not we are going to have to have another intervention, and it won't be the kind where you get to sit and listen to someone talk."

Yeah, that is what happened this morning, except without the dialogue. I am reading chapter 11, so I am kind of used to asking for forgiveness before I even get to the point of praying for my husband. The section that caught me was this one:

We have to remember that all men think they are doing the right thing. "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes..." (Proverbs 21:2). But God is the only one who can give true discernment. 
It goes on to say...
The bible describes a fool as someone who only "trusts in his own heart" (Proverbs 29:26). He despises wisdom (Proverbs 23:9). He always wants to talk and never wants to listen (Proverbs 18:2). In other words, you can't tell him anything. 
OK, so it's not like I run around yelling I hate wisdom. I don't verbally say that I trust in my own heart or that I am always right. But, if I take an honest look at my actions, at my body language, my motives in conversation...they are usually designed so that I come out on top - so that I am right and you are wrong. And if we expand that to all of humanity, like the bible does in Proverbs 21:2, you can pretty much extrapolate that everyone naturally thinks that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. (Only a wise person looks outside of himself for guidance - he asks God for discernment.)

Hmmmm...I bet the devil loves that one. The poor humans can't control their tongues AND they always think they are right. This should be easy. Let's go pick a fight. You know what? I will probably just happen on its own, and we can sit back and watch. 

The good news is, that with the help of the Holy Spirit we can recognize our foolishness. We can ask for forgiveness from God. And with the help of Jesus we can repent. The whole Trinity is ready to take action.

The book goes on to say:
[God] can give us wisdom when we ask for it. Wisdom brings success (Ecclesiastes 10:10), and it enables us to learn from experience (Proverbs 15:31)...The bible says, "The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). 
So, we can start by praying that we will have the fear of the Lord, and that we will keep godly council. We can pray that the Holy Spirit will show us when we are trusting in our own hearts, and when we are leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

The next time I am in a conversation,  I am going to hear the other person. Not just see my vision, not just force my opinion, or push for my way. Just listen, ask for discernment, pray for wisdom, and submit, knowing that in His sovereignty all things will work to the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

I hope you have an incredible day, and walk in wisdom!

1 comment:

Annette (Ryans mom) said...

I need to ask myself, "Why did God bring me to this page?"
Thank you Heather :)