Thoughts on the topic of thoughts from the book of wisdom
The book of Proverbs has much to say about the topic of our thoughts. Let’s continue considering Proverbs wisdom on our thoughts.
The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
My momma used to say “ignorance is bliss”. It has stuck with me, along with bunches of sayings she would recite. She was a wonderful mother, but with this saying, I’m not sure she spoke the truth. (Thinking back, she would say this often to me specifically – starting to wonder if she was implying something!)
Anyhow, the Word tells us of the gullibility of the simple. They believe everything they are told, that they hear, that they come across. It implies that the simple understand the world to be their servant, that the messages provided by everyone within their life circle are positive, right and beneficial for their lives. This passage implies that critical thinking, a solid knowledge base, and a commitment to truth is of no importance to the simple.
To be “simple”, in the book of proverbs speaks of inexperience, gullibility and a lack of judgement. It is usually associated with youth, but this proverb also provides a solution to this destructive lifestyle.
Give thought to your steps!
I may be extending this passage out further than is obvious, but hear me out. My wife and I have been “planners” for the last 25 years of our married life. It started when we considered moving into the USA from the GWN. We sat down and made a 5 year plan, set intermediate goals to accomplish this target and worked to these ends.
One of our first plans included attaining citizenship in the USA. In our simplicity, we judged a five year span of effort would be sufficient to meet this goal (legally!) Golly, I don’t know if any of my readers have ploughed through dealing with the bureaucracy such as we faced, especially after 911, but without that goal we would have surely given up.
My point is that, to give thought to your steps, in my opinion, speaks of where we are going, of planning our path in the will of God and to work with an understanding of the world around us. I say “the world around us” since wifey and I planned this prior to 911, and with the knowledge we had at the time, the five year goal was still aggressive. After 911, it appeared impossible. It became apparent during one summer, that we would loose all that we worked for. Our house, our freedom to stay in the US, our church fellowship and my career. (I actually am one of a very few men that has ever been let go by a government agency – fired by a state government!)
In all that, the Lord led the way through all the fears and dangers, all the disappointments and changes, and looking back, has instilled in this family a tenacity that may not have grown without the trial.
To reiterate, this particular effort taught us to be critical thinkers also, since believing what others told us led us down wrong roads, conflicted with other messages and was simply foolish.
Always question the message being heard and filter it through the truth God has provided us through the Word of God and His Spirit. Even the Word of God needs to the compared with the Word of God and to simply believe a passage without “arguing with it” seems to be unwise in my eyes now.
As you may know, I am an engineer in my occupation, and I tend to question everything. But to question God’s Word, not in its truthfulness, but in seeking to understand it’s intended message has been a key issue for me for the last 15 years or so.
Many of my previous beliefs have undergone serious development, and some of them have had to be repented of. This is a very uncomfortable experience. Changing my thinking on any aspect of my faith changes multiple aspects of my daily life. Thankfully, as an added benefit, the general tenor of my thought life has greatly improved.
Don’t be simple. Don’t simply believe the Bible. The message is deep, complex and wonderful. Who can know the mind of the Lord? The further you dig the more wondrous Jesus becomes.
Don’t be afraid to reverently ask questions of the text, to ask God for understanding, to challenge your own thoughts in subjection to the Word of God. The prophets did. The apostles did.
Should we not seek to understand the message instead of simply “believing everything” you hear?
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.