HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Proverbs 13:20 - He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
(AMP) - He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.
If you and I are going to grow in wisdom we need to make sure that we surround ourselves with people who have and walk in wisdom. What this means is that you need to know what wisdom looks like and what foolishness looks like.
The world defines foolishness and wisdom very differently than the Bible.
The dictionaries definition looks like this – A fool is a person who lacks good sense and judgement. Silly or senseless. One who repeatedly makes silly mistakes that could easily be avoided or someone who does or says things without thinking about the consequences.
This is good but it is really only part of what God reveals to us.
One of the first things that we need to understand about wisdom and foolishness is that the world regards Christians as fools and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as foolish.
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 - For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not manynoble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
1 Corinthians 1:18 - or the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:20-25 - (NLT) - So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. 24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
When the Bible teaches on wisdom and foolishness it does so for those that have a desire to know God and to learn His ways.
God’s wisdom is spiritual, and it cannot be completely understood by the natural man.
1 Corinthians 2:14 - But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The one thing that you will discover about God’s wisdom is that it is remarkably simple. I like to call it simple truth with deep and lasting impact. The world complicates wisdom and makes it seem unattainable. The Bible tells us that God will give wisdom to all who ask.
The first thing that makes a fool a fool is their rejection of God.
Psalm 53:1 - The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. One of the clearest ways that you know that you are dealing with a fool and a foolish person is when they tell you either they do not believe in God or that they do not have time for “religious things because they just don’t believe in that kind of thing. One thing that we must understand is that foolish does not mean goofy. All of us stereo type things including our idea of a fool. Some think of mindless non-thinkers who dismiss the idea of God outright. Others see a hard-working beer drinking party boy or woman who just wants to be left alone to live their life.
One of the things that surprised me early on in my walk with God is that many foolish people who reject God are well read, educated, articulate and calm. They have “studied” the religions of the world and have drawn the conclusion that they are all the same. Some have been hurt and disappointed by some incredible losses in life and have decided that if this is what God is like then they want nothing to do with Him. Often times a fool is not quite what we have expected.
A fool doesn’t value learning a lesson.
Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
There are some people who have no real desire to learn, grow and better themselves. They have no desire for Godly knowledge and understanding and they have no real desire to be taught.
Fools are unteachable. They refuse to do anything with knowledge and understanding that someone may have just dropped into their lap. One of the things that sets the wise apart from a fool is their desire to be teachable.
Proverbs 9:8-9 - (NLT) - So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. 9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
The wise welcome teaching, correction, direction or advise. Fools have no desire to humble themselves to receive teaching or redirection.
One of the last things that we learn from fools is that there is a way you must talk with them when you realize that you are interacting with a fool.
Proverbs 26:4-5 - Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
(AMP) - Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. 5 Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
At face value this wisdom sounds contradictory but if you look at it, this is powerful.
Many people have a hard time with the idea of identifying a fool. The Bible tells us that we CAN know the difference between the foolish and the wise. This is not judging it is Biblical observation.
First of all, simply trying to reason with a fool is a fool’s errand. They believe what they think, and they are not budging from their position. If you try a reasonable approach with a mocker or even with an educated thinker, you are going to be constantly hitting your head on the proverbial brick wall. If you have ever been in one of these conversations no matter how well intentioned, you are going to look and feel just as foolish as they are.
~Mark Twain - “NEVER ARGUE WITH STUPID PEOPLE. THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL AND BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.”
We are told to answer a fool according to their own folly. – Many assume that this is permission to be sarcastic. It is not.
In the process of having a conversation with a fool it is reframing your questions to them in such a way that they realize their logic and patterns of thinking are incorrect. It is not telling a fool that they are foolish it is helping lead them to the conclusion on their own. If we do not take the time to thoughtfully correct and teach the foolish, we will leave them thinking that they are wise in their own opinion.
As we continue to move into the deeper things of God it is important that we know the difference between wisdom and foolishness.
May the Lord bless you and your family during these summer months. Take time to rest, enjoy family and be sure to stay in church and close to God.
Know that You are loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Matthew 10:16 - “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
For me this is one of the most shocking statements that Jesus ever made to His disciples. To us. The Concept of this verse is easy to understand but is filled with rich teaching to mature us and equip us.
Jesus said I am sending you out into the world and you are sheep in the midst of wolves. In the natural, you look like prey, but I want you as sheep to be wise as serpents and innocent and harmless as a dove. Jesus warned us that serving Him in this world was going to put us in difficult situations with people.
Jesus told His disciples that we were not to just be sheep or followers who depended completely on the Shepherd, but we were to have the wisdom of a serpent and the innocence of a dove.
This idea of being wise as a serpent confuses us because when we think of serpents we think of snakes, and we think of Satan in the garden. We associate snakes with slithering, biting and killing. We only understand part of the analogy.
We must remember that God made the snake the same way that He made the eagle. Too many Christians confuse the wisdom of a serpent with the character of a snake. There are characteristics that God gave it that teach us how to function in the world we live in wisely. Genesis 3:1a - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
The serpent had a key personality trait. It was cunning.
Cunning speaks of intelligence shrewdness, cleverness and smarts.
People assume that sheep are stupid. They are not. They are vulnerable, but they are intelligent and relational.
Jesus said I am sending you out as sheep among wolves you are vulnerable. Therefore, you need to be a wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. We get the idea of sheep and doves, but most Christians do not understand the idea of being wise as serpents because there is very little teaching on it.
The world assumes that we are sheep, stupid, slow, dependent, clean and pure. We need to understand that clean, innocent and pure does not mean naïve. As a matter of fact, a dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit and one of the names of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom.
If all we see ourselves is as sheep and doves, then we will always be prey for the enemy. Let’s be honest, all too often Christians operate in the world naively and not wisely. I want you to know that you can be innocent, pure and dependent on God for everything and still be one shrewd cookie.
The Bible tells us that we are the head and not the tail. We are not a predator, but neither are we prey. Jesus had to address the idea of His disciple acting and living in this world with greater wisdom Luke 16:8 - So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
God wants us to understand the wisdom of being clever, smart and shrewd when we are dealing with the world.
One of the lessons that we can learn from the serpent is that they know how to blend into their environment.
A serpent is not a chameleon, but they are a master of camouflage.
We are in the world, but we are not of the world.
It is important to understand that we are different than the rest of the world. We do not think like the world, talk like the world, believe like the world but there we are in the middle of it all. The world is our environment so we must learn to live in it.
Whenever a snake comes into a new place or interacts with a new environment it takes time to acclimate to the climate and culture.
Many Christians assume that to be a good Christian they need to announce that they are a Christian and immediately set to work changing a place.
I guarantee you that on our church property and around your home there are snakes. You don’t even know that they are there. They are laying low, getting to know the territory they are quiet, and they are blending into their surroundings. We are called to reach our world with the Gospel, but they do not even have a desire to be reached. We must get to know them, how they think and talk. What they enjoy. What hurts them and what excites them. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 -to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
Paul says I become all things to all people that I might all means reach some. Everywhere I have lived I had to learn the culture and the customs of a place. When you work at a place become like the culture there, so you have the right to speak into their lives.
Camouflage is a protective covering it helps you to settle into your environment. Helps you to move around and get to know a place. It also provides you with safety.
A sheep who acts like a sheep among wolves immediately is identified as prey. A snake that is immediately identified as a snake immediately is reacted negatively too and will experience immediate resistance. At work at school, we are to be a part of the people we are with.
– Now remember innocent as doves. This means that we are like Jesus who ate with sinners but did not sin with the sinners.
Remember in order for Jesus to save the world He had to come in the likeness of man. He became one of us but was without sin.
One of the key traits of a serpent is how slowly they move.
It is wise to move slowly and deliberately through life.
James 1:19 - Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Quick, Slow, Slow - Serpents are always listening.
Many people like to jump to conclusions, instead of listening to what people are saying and really mean as they read between the lines. Many have a quick temper and a short fuse. Serpents never seem to be in a hurry. They can sit still for hours, or they will just slither along. It’s not that they cannot move fast they are just careful and know how to conserve their energy. Many times, we do life in this world by acting too fast or making split decisions when we have plenty of time to think and gather facts.
We need this wisdom in personal relationships and in business relationships. Keen business people take their time. They don’t jump at every opportunity. People with lasting and fruitful friendships and relationships are slow to get to know people and slow to bring them close. By moving slowly, we get to understand people and situations. We get to observe the landscape and see if there are any dangers. This does not mean paralysis by analysis. But taking time to observe and learn. The truth is many times it is better to be quiet and listen, to lay low and just observe. Serpents are absolutely fine with little action and quiet. We should be as well. Moving slowly keeps us from making pour decisions and allows us plenty of time to avoid obstacles and setbacks.
Christian we are called to live wisely and shrewdly in this world. This will cause us to be victorious.
Know that you are loved
Pastor Marvin & Dawn