26 The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight.
27 The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.
28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
As I read Proverbs 15 this morning, I noticed Proverbs in a similar pattern… Contrasting the “fool” with the “wise”.
As I read, there also seemed to be many inferences to fruit of the spirit in the context of the “wise” action.
In other words, life just seems better overall when are “gentle” or “patient” or “good” or “faithful” or “joyful” or “loving”.
Each of these things were mentioned.
But there was a more stark contrast that stood out to me, particularly toward the end.
The contrast between the “wicked” and the “righteous”.
This is a much harsher contrast.
Wise & Fool? We get that.
Make wise choices, better consequences result.
Make foolish decisions, we can’t complain when negative consequences arise.
We can understand that. It’s almost like we can conflate “foolish” with “dumb” or “stupid”.
It affects relationships all around us & often the circumstance of our life.
But “wicked”?! I’ve never heard someone describe themselves as “wicked”.
We don’t see wicked in the mirror.
But why might it be important to understand this comparison?
Look at what is affected by the “wicked”.
It’s not merely relationships & circumstances.
“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination … To the Lord.”
The sacrifice of the wicked are an abomination … To the Lord.”
“The Lord is far off from … the wicked.”
Wisdom & Foolishness have obvious effects on our relationships & life circumstances.
Righteousness & Wickedness affects our relationship with our Lord!
We don’t ever want to think about wicked even being associated with ourselves.
I’ll accept “occasionally foolish”, like when I watch a Simpson’s marathon. But “wicked”? NO!
It reminds me of the play my daughter recently saw in NYC… “Wicked”.
It’s told from the perspective of the wicked witch & tells the Wizard of Oz story in such a way that rationalizes & justifies & explains away the witch’s wickedness.
This is a function of perspective.
We need to live life from God’s perspective. Not our own.
This gives us a much clearer understanding & worldview.
It reminds of of when GK Chesterton was asked, along with many other thinkers & authors, “What’s wrong with the world?”
Many others sent in essays. GK Chesterton wrote 2 simple words, “I am”.
Perception is not reality.
Truth is reality.
The wicked witch didn’t have it. Chesterton did.
Socrates says “Know yourself”.
Paul says to the Corinthians, “Examine yourself … To see whether you are in faith.”
But then Paul gives he most beautiful & reassuring follow up to that.
He says “Don’t you know that Christ Jesus is in you?!”
That is what moves us from wicked to righteous!
God’s perspective is that when He sees us, He sees Jesus!
So often I read the bible pleading that God would reveal Himself to me. “Let me know you, Lord”
How grateful I am that God’s word does not only show me God more clearly, it helps me see myself more correctly.
Thank you, God, for your word. Thank you for Truth.
God, forgive me when I’m tempted to think “foolishness” is just “silly” or “dumb”.
Forgive me when I’m “wicked”.
Thank you for seeing me as “righteous”.
Thank you for being near to me.
Thank you for being with me.
Thank you that you hear my prayer