Contrary to popular opinion, the difference doesn’t have anything to do with position or intelligence or talent or wealth. Plenty of wise and foolish people can be found in all walks of life. The real issue is one of being teachable.
According to King Solomon, the one major difference between a wise person from a foolish person is this: how a person receives instruction and correction. (See, for example, Proverbs 1:5; 9:8–9; 10:8; 12:15; 15:12; 17:10; and 19:20.)
A foolish person tends to:
- Not listen or take to heart when others offer input.
- Avoid responsibility and shifts blame.
- Not make any necessary changes.
A wise person tends to:
- Listen without getting defensive or upset.
- Accepts responsibility without blaming others or making excuses.
- Makes necessary changes without delay.
None of us is completely wise or foolish but somewhere in between. I suppose the better question might be: “In which direction are we heading, towards the wise or the foolish end of the spectrum?”
And if we really want an answer to that question we need to ask it of those closest to us: our spouse, our kids, our friends…
Nowhere is the issue of being teachable more important than in the church among those who claim to be followers of Jesus.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.