PROVERBS: GPS to Better Decision Making
Don’t Be A Know-It-All by Loretta Huggins
“A wise man never knows all, only a fool knows everything.”
The above African proverb highlights the message in Proverbs 1:7b, “…but fools despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction, and discipline” (AMP). This verse refers to individuals who lack understanding and make unwise decisions, characterized by their rejection of wisdom and guidance offered by God. Their refusal to learn from God’s discipline and instruction is also their refusal to have a relationship with Him.
I strongly emphasize that wisdom and discipline are critical components in the acquisition of knowledge and making of wise decisions, and the rejection of those elements in one’s life can lead to many sorrows. Yes, much to my disappointment, I wrote the last sentence based on personal experience. Just starting out in life as a young adult, having the freedom to make my own decision without my mother’s input, I made a decision that was a financial blunder – big time.
Interestingly, the word “blunder” is from Old Norse blunda, meaning “to close one’s eyes.” Even though my mother did her best to warn me against my decision, my eyes and ears were closed to her advice. I resented her “meddling” in my new-found self-independence. Oh, how I wish I had listened to her. I would have saved myself from a lot of mental distress.
The word “despise” in Proverbs 1:7b implies a strong disdain or contempt for wisdom and discipline, often rooted in a lack of understanding or a false belief in one’s own knowledge and insight. This prideful and ignorant perspective only leads to foolishness, which is opposed to the humility and open-mindedness necessary for personal growth and improvement. People who reject discipline often lack the humility to learn from their mistakes and grow from their experiences.
In conclusion, I am thankful that I learned from my mistake. I asked my mother for forgiveness. She forgave me and helped me navigate through the mess I had created for myself. I encourage you, as I have done, to seek out wisdom and embrace discipline in your life. Do not allow the Biblical verse in Proverbs 1:7b and the African proverb to be the hallmark of your life.
Question for discussion:
Loretta Huggins, born and raised in San Francisco, CA, has served in the ministry with her husband, Larry Huggins since 1989: administrator, hostess, event planner, and teacher. She has traveled to eighteen countries. She is the co-founder and co-pastor of ZChurch.