Friday, August 20, 2010

Heart of Fools

7 Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason,
And a bribe debases the heart.
8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
(Ecclesiastes 7:7-9, New King James Version)

Heart of Fools

Have you ever heard the expression, "You are not paid to think; you are paid to do!"? That was the first thing that came to mind in reading Ecclesiastes 7:7. A man oppressed, will eventually give up trying to think or voice his own thoughts. Even worse, is the person who will claim or do anything for a bribe. God did not make us to be a non-person, governed by the whims of others.

Why do you suppose the writer says, "The end of a thing is better than the beginning," and then follows with, "The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."?

Being an impetuous person, it is often hard for me to wait until the end of a thing before making a wise decision. Yet, only in the end do we know the results. How lofty our pride can be, but patiently waiting shows greater wisdom.

Probably the most wise advice of all is found in Ecclesiastes 7:9.

Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

In a day when anger supposedly shows strength of the spirit of independence, as Christians we realize that the opposite is true. The one who controls his spirit maintains his own identity and independence, as he is not swayed by thoughtless anger. As a matter of fact, anger is one of most widely used form of manipulation.

If you do not think that is true, watch a tiny baby. Yes, they cry when they are hungry or need to be changed, but it does not take them long to discover that their angry cry brings must faster results. Of course we expect that from a baby, but what happens when the "baby" never grows up? How many adults do you know who can easily manipulate those around them through their bursts of anger?

What, then, is the difference between the heart of the wise and the heart of fools? The wise do not accept bribes, are patient in waiting for the end of a matter, and do not allow their decisions to be ruled by anger. That sounds pretty good, does it not? I would really like to be that person, but it is not as easy as it sounds, is it?

Let us pray that as Christians God would so work in our hearts that we develop the heart of the wise rather than the heart of fools.

God Bless You,

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