July 18 / Proverbs 18 / Matthew 18

beard questions

Proverbs 18:2

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinion.

Proverbs 18:6-7

Notice the relationship between the fool’s mouth and the resultant effect:

Words–>constant quarrels

Asking–>beating

Mouths–>ruin

Lips–>trap

It is our mouths that get us into most trouble. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gone up and kicked anyone in the belly¬†recently. It’s not my kung-fu feet that¬†usually get me into trouble. It’s my mouth.

Sometimes it’s helpful to view how absurdly a verse reads when you make opposite only some of the words. It does not read “Fool’s listening gets them into constant quarrels.” Or that their “open receptivity is begging for a beating.” Nor does it say “The ears of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their deep listening.”

Ridiculous. Our receptive listening ordinarily will not get us into a fight. Like the old corny, yet memorable line goes, “God gave you two ears and one mouth because you’re suppose to listen twice as much as you speak.”

Also, you can usually make opposite all of the action-type words in a passage in order to see the positive side (in this case) of a truth. We might say:

Wise people’s listening helps them connect with others; their open receptivity fosters healing.

The ears of wise people are their restoration; they free themselves with their deep listening.

Or something like that.

 

Matthew 18:1-3

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to Him and put the child among them. Then He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

We ask the dumbest questions and from my reading of the Bible, humanity has a long and significant lineage of fools asking the wrong questions. To this day I ask God for understanding in this situation and clarity in the face of this injustice and that injustice and for what? What answer to such situations and wordly faults is ever going to satisfy my lust for understanding? And that is exactly what it is–lust–and therefore sin and therefore not of God. “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” How foolish a question and how ridiculously simple, beautiful, and cutting the answer.

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