Message: Proverbs is all about listening to
wisdom, and responding to correction. This is great to live by, but we also
have to learn how to respond to and interact with people who don’t choose this.
Proverbs 15 addresses a lot of this and reminds us that not only are there
people who refuse to live this way, but their view of life is so contrary that
you have to learn how to respond to them (or not respond) to avoid being burned
in their shenanigans. As much as we all want to believe we are on the side of
wisdom, we all have our foolish moments too. We have to be prepared to not only
deal with the crazy and often predictably unpredictable ways of the foolish,
but we also have to be able to turn ourselves around when we have a foolish
Command: Think carefully before speaking, don’t
respond to a fool and be willing to be corrected.
Promise: If we follow after wisdom and allow
ourselves to be corrected we will learn more, we’ll have God’s favor and people
will be glad to interact with us.
Warning: God is watching both the wise and the
foolish.If we act a fool and refuse to be corrected we won’t learn from
our mistakes, we’ll alienate people and we will be punished for our poor
Application: Reading this while answering these questions
made me realize just how juvenile we all are! This chapter applies to children
and adults equally and spells it out so simply that it almost sounds insulting.
Yet as I read through I spot all of the areas where I personally struggle. I have
to acknowledge that I don’t always do well in my responses. I get irritated when
someone speaks disrespectfully to me so right off the bat with verse 1 “a soft
answer turns away wrath” I feel convicted about my sarcastic responses. As I
get further in I see the responses to a “hot tempered man” and I know I am
guilty of escalating. Not necessarily with my volume, but more in my attitude.
This does not ever help my situation and I’m never happy with the response.
This is not to say we should enable bad behavior and allow people to be
abusive. In my case I need to stop allowing foolish behavior to offend me and
remind myself that they are not insulting me. They are only revealing their own
foolishness. There have been times in my growth that I have had to stop and ask
myself…”how would a healthy person respond to this?” This alone is a game
changer because even if the “foolish person” continues ranting their
foolishness, I don’t have to allow them to drag me in with them. Refusing to
engage keeps the foolish behavior on them and not me. Even further, I know that
God is paying attention to all of it and he will reward my responses if I follow