Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being thought of as stupid. I like to think that I’m at least as smart as the average guy. So when my intelligence is questioned, it sort of raises my hackles. I want to argue, and prove that God is real.
We’re back in the book of Proverbs today as we finish off the week. And chapters 10 and 11 are full of one and two line proverbs, or teachings. Whole sermons could be created from each sentence, and probably have been since these words were first given to Solomon. It almost seems a shame to just read through them and move on. But that’s the format for this podcast, and that’s what we’ll do.
Where to focus for today?
How about this. One thought that comes up repeatedly for me is that a wise person knows that no matter how much he knows, there is still a lot he does not know. And a foolish person thinks he knows it all.
Have you ever seen the old TV show, Cheers? If you haven’t, I encourage you to watch an episode or two on Netflix. Remember the mail carrier, Cliff Claven? He was one of those guys that you often see in a group situation that always thinks he knows everything about whatever subject comes up in conversation. He puffs up his chest and says, “Oh yeah. Let me tell you about that…” And then he goes on to demonstrate that he really doesn’t know anything about it. Cliff Claven was a fool.
And then on another TV show there is a character that demonstrates wisdom. If you haven’t seen this one, it’s also on Netflix. The show actually only showed up occasionally. It wasn’t a weekly series. It’s the Jesse Stone TV movies that starred Tom Selleck. In that show he plays a small town chief of police. He has many personal problems, but he does demonstrate the characteristic of knowing when to keep quiet. In one scene the town council, the group to whom he is accountable, is not happy with the way he is handling a particular crime investigation. To their questions, he responds with primarily one word answers. One of the councilpersons, in frustration says, “You don’t talk much, do you?” And Stone’s answer is something like, “Only when there’s something to say.”
The wise person doesn’t feel the need to demonstrate how smart he is. The foolish person is too stupid to know when to shut up.
I think I’ll shut up now.