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Miranda Writes: How Not to Be a Fool, Part 3




by Omar Miranda



Over the past several weeks we’ve been talking about how not to be a fool. We learned about wisdom, and the difference between it and knowledge. We also learned about a guy named Solomon who was a king but made a lot of mistakes. In the end he got it right. We learned that we can learn from what he learned and not make those same mistakes. And last, we learned what a fool is.

This week I want to finish up by discussing the three benefits of wisdom. I also want us to look at how we would respond if God gave us a blank check. As you read about these benefits, I want you to think about yourself and the people you know and love. Do any of the things about being a fool describe you or anybody you know? I hope not. But if so, you can begin today to make appropriate changes in your life. Remember what God says about our behavior: your choices affect your consequences. Smart choices = good consequences; stupid choices = bad consequences. It’s all up to you.

The Bible calls King Solomon the wisest man in the world. In fact, it says that there was never anyone like him nor will there ever be anyone like him. If you read, study, and take to heart the information that Solomon gives you in Proverbs and surround yourself with wise and not foolish people, you’ll make smart choices.

So what are the benefits of wisdom?

A. Long life and good health
1. Proverbs 8:35, 36 tells us: “By finding me [Wisdom], you find life, and the Lord will be pleased with you. But if you don’t find me, you hurt only yourself, and if you hate me, you are in love with death.”1
2. More examples are found in Proverbs 1:32, 33; 3:1-3; 3:15-18; 3:21, 22; 4:10; 4:22.

B. Choosing friends wisely
1. Proverbs 1:8-19 states: “My child, obey the teachings of your parents, and wear their teachings as you would a lovely hat or a pretty necklace. Don’t be tempted by sinners or listen when they say, ‘Come on! Let’s gang up and kill somebody, just for the fun of it! They’re well and healthy now, but we’ll finish them off once and for all. We’ll take their valuables and fill our homes with stolen goods. If you join our gang, you’ll get your share.’ Don’t follow anyone like that or do what they do. They are in a big hurry to commit some crime, perhaps even murder. They are like a bird that sees the bait, but ignores the trap. They gang up to murder someone, but they are the victims. The wealth you get from crime robs you of your life.”
2. More examples are found in Proverbs 2:12-15.

C. Safety from ungodly sexuality
1. Proverbs 2:16-19 states: “Wisdom will protect you from the smooth talk of a sinful woman, who breaks her wedding vows and leaves the man she married when she was young. The road to her house leads down to the dark world of the dead. Visit her, and you will never find the road to life again.”
2. More examples are found in Proverbs 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27.

A blank check

What would you do if someone handed you a blank check and said that with it you can buy whatever you want—the sky’s the limit! There are no restrictions, and you can have anything your heart desires! Well, we’re going to look at a story of someone who got just that—from God! It’s found in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings. Open that book and read chapter 3, verses 1 to 15, on your own in whatever version you like. After you’re done reading, I’d like to discuss eight important lessons that we need to learn from Solomon on the importance of wisdom and how to get it from God:

1. Solomon showed his love for the Lord by recognizing God as the Creator and sustainer of all things. Solomon also kept God’s laws and commandments (see verse 3). How about you? Do you recognize that God is the boss? If you do, are you living a life that reflects that fact?

2. Solomon worshipped God without end (see verses 3, 4). He offered 1,000 burnt offerings to God. Can you imagine the blood—and the smell? What about you? What are you giving to God for your worship? How are you sacrificing to God? What gifts of your life, time, money, and talents are you giving to Him?

3. Solomon had the right viewpoint of who he was in front of God (see verses 6-8). Solomon would become the richest, smartest, and most powerful in the whole world, but when he spoke to God he called himself “Your servant” and a “little child” (NKJV).2  It’s uncomfortable for us to humble ourselves. But I’d rather do it willingly than have God do it for me. How about you? For more on this, see the story of King Nebuchadnezzar in the Old Testament book of Daniel, chapter 4. Interesting stuff, but definitely not a lesson you would want to learn the hard way.

Solomon admitted that he could do nothing by himself. Again, Solomon humbled himself and reminded himself that God was God. He admitted his weaknesses by telling God the truth. He was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, but the key was that he admitted it. He told God that he didn’t know how to carry out his duties and that the people he was going to rule were too many to count (1 Kings 3:7, 8). You see, the key is humility and a teachable spirit. In fact, as you’ll learn, the Bible takes a dim view of people who are prideful, who always think they’re right and can’t or won’t take guidance or advice from others. The Bible calls them fools! Just so we’re clear, that’s bad and the opposite of someone who is wise.

4. Solomon prioritized his life properly. He asked God for a discerning heart so he could help his people (verse 9). Solomon’s motivations were right and unselfish. I would probably have asked for a discerning heart so I could make better decisions on how to trade my money in the stock market. You know what I mean? It would have all been for me!

5. God was pleased and gave Solomon his request (verses 10-12). We’ve already read in the book of James that God will grant our request for wisdom if we just ask and believe that He will grant it. But the key is that we have to have the right attitude and motivations. God’s not going to give you wisdom just so you can be selfish.

6. Furthermore, because Solomon’s motives were right, God blessed him with everything else (verse 13). He blessed Solomon with all the stuff that he had not asked for. Specifically, the Bible tells us that he was blessed with riches and honor. Now, I want to be careful here. I’m not saying that if you choose to worship and fear God, He will make you rich and important—not at all! Sometimes God chooses to give incredibly great material things as a consequence of someone’s faith, but many times He does not. But God will always give us what we need in this life—and more important, in the life to come. “I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?” (Matthew 5:25, 26). “Don’t worry and ask yourselves, ‘Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?’ Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well” (verses 31-33).

7. If you stay on God’s side, He will give you a long and happy life (1 Kings 3:14). If you read the first nine chapters of Proverbs—remember, they’re written for you—you will see this theme over and over. God wants you to live a long, happy, and prosperous life, and the only way you can do that is to be on His side.

8. Even in his success, Solomon didn’t forget where he came from, and praised and thanked God for His goodness and blessings (verse 15). It would have been easy for Solomon to take credit for his wisdom and forget God. And Solomon does just that for a long time—and the Bible honestly records Solomon’s mistakes as a warning to us. But thank God that near the end of Solomon’s life he recognizes his serious mistakes and comes running back to God! I hope that it won’t take you almost your entire life to come back to God. Turn to Him today. You will indeed be turning from death to life.

Solomon and the other writers of Proverbs knew that the teen years are the most difficult for many, and during this time you will make some of the most important decisions of your life, many of which may fundamentally change your life—either positively or negatively.

In light of Proverbs, closely examine your life, your habits, your choices, your relationships with your friends and “special” friends. Take the truths expressed in these nine chapters—and in the rest of the book of Proverbs—to heart and make changes in your life where you need to, so you don’t get caught up in something that you can’t get out of and you can be free to fully give your physical, emotional, and spiritual strength and focus to serving God wholeheartedly and speed His return to take us all home!

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

1Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.   
2Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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