One day about 20 years ago, I sat down to spend time with God. I sensed Him near me as I enjoyed the morsels of His Word.
My plan to read one chapter from Proverbs a day was in full swing. It helped me read my Bible on a regular basis. The plan is easy to remember; you read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the calendar day of the month since it has 31 chapters.
As I read, I started seeing a disturbing pattern. Certain words and phrases were oddly familiar. I wasn’t quite sure, so I skimmed for confirmation. Yep, to my horror, it was there.
It was one of those moments when you get to the bathroom after sitting at the restaurant table with your friends, and you look in the mirror and discover what everyone else had probably already seen.
I have mustard on my cheek? Why does everyone pretend like they don’t notice when they’re looking right at me?
It felt like that eye-catching bright yellow mustard.
I. am. a. Fool.
Embarrassment overcame my soul. Tears fell in torrents.
Why didn’t anyone tell me?
But people aren’t to be my Holy Spirit.
The Fool’s Reflection
I saw a reflection of myself while I read His Word. The Bible is a mirror disguised as a book, after all. It was staring at me from the black text printed on the thin white paper of my Bible:
- always right…..Proverbs 12:15
- easily offended…..Proverbs 12:16
- despised my parents’ instruction…..Proverbs 15:5
- opinionated…..Proverbs 18:2
- argumentative…..Proverbs 18:6
That list described me—a biblical fool—and that’s how others viewed me as well.
It felt as if I’d been living in Foolsville. I wanted to move out that very day without securing a house elsewhere. Since I was on a journey following God, nothing else mattered.
I didn’t want to wear the fool’s garment anymore but needed a reputation change instead.
He didn’t abandon me, this biblical fool. He spoke to me there; I noticed almost every verse or passage that talked about a fool countered with the characteristics of the wise person. Oh, how I wanted to be that person!
The Fool’s Transformation
I resolved at that moment to undertake a study on wisdom.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26 ESV
Yes, God, deliver me because I have been making stupid decisions!
This was before the internet existed (can you imagine?), and I didn’t have a computer. I borrowed a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and wrote down locations for Scriptures on wisdom in the Old Testament, and then some from the New Testament. 189 in total. I was serious.
Over the next few weeks, my determination looked like this. I dove deep:
- Wrote out 44 of those verses
- Saturated myself in them
- Applied them to my life
- Prayed them over my heart
- Thanked God for His promises
Over time, discernment became a new part of me. I saw God’s Word changing me where I couldn’t change myself. It was inevitable because He is faithful to keep His promises.
One such beautiful promise is this one on wisdom:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV
Tears fill my eyes in gratefulness for what He’s done for me. God’s Word is powerful!
If you desire a change like this, dive deep. Start in the first dozen verses of Proverbs chapter two:
1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, Proverbs 2:1-12, ESV
How do you see the transformation power of God’s Word in your life to help you overcome a part of your “old nature”?