Let’s play a game. I’m going to tell you a true story and your objective is to spot the wise person and to spot the foolish person. Ready?! Ok Here we go:
During bible study lady A’s baby became inconsolable, baby was fussing and screaming and would not calm down despite was lady A tried.
As she was at her wits’s end, she ran into the room to gather the stroller and the rest of the belongings, and took her baby out of the room to put her in the car seat to hurry up and get out of there.
As she was about to leave, lady B (who she had never really spoken to before) came where she was and proceeded to ask her if she could show her a way to possible calm baby down.
lady A (not wanting to be rude) said “sure” and lady B swiftly picked up baby placed her on her forearm, face down and rocked and and swayed until the crying immediately stopped, the baby spit up and then when back in the car seat,went right to sleep.
After lady A thanked lady B for helping, lady A left feeling like a failure. How could she, as baby’s mom not know how to calm baby down, but a stranger knew just what to do. She felt embarrassed and decided that she just might not show her face for a week or so. In fact why couldn’t lady B just have left her and her baby alone to struggle in peace?
So who is the fool in this story, lady A or lady B? How about the wise one, lady A or lady B?
Let’s look to Solomon to help explore this topic of unsolicited advice:
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. Proverbs 15:14
Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words. Proverbs 23:9
It’s very clear from these 2 verses that I (I mean lady A) was the fool. I absolutely resented her advice and her help at first. I was mad at her for making me feel like a fool, but in reality,
I WAS THE ONE MAKING ME FEEL LIKE A FOOL.
I was rejecting her knowledge and wisdom because my pride was getting in the way.
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The person who gives advice above will either be accepted or rejected based on the readiness of the recipient of the advice. I was not ready for the advice that lady gave me that day. I was the mocker and the wicked, I did insult her to others in attempt to make myself feel better.
MY PRIDEFUL HEART HAD NO SPACE FOR HER WISDOM AT THAT MOMENT.
“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:22
But after a few hours of self reflection and prayer, I was able to see where she was coming from. Looking at her intentions and knowing she came from a good place helped me to see past my pride to become a ready and grateful recipient of her advice (because I have used that “football” hold since and it really does work!)
“How long” doesn’t refer to a specific amount of time, but instead an intentional decision to cultivated a changed heart. A fool doesn’t become a wise person on their own, instead they have to seek out advice and wisdom and remind themselves that they do not know everything and be willing to look at the common goal the advice-giver and the advice- taker share instead of who gets credit for the advice.
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-Proverbs 1:5
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. Proverbs 9:9
Thanks for being on this journey with me, it isn’t easy to admit when I’m behaving like a fool, but having a community of understanding and grace-giving women really does help! Blessings sweet friends!