Avoid foolishness: pursue wisdom

April 1, 2024
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by Shannon Caughey

The beginning of April reminds us to be on our guard against foolishness. “April Fools’ Day” is generally about jokes, hoaxes, and pranks. One time our neighbor brought over a plate of delicious-looking cookies. Forgetting it was April 1, I took a big bite out of one of these cookies. Upon attempting to pull the rest of it away from my mouth, my lips were snapped with a rubber band she had cleverly concealed inside the cookie. Our neighbor successfully made a fool out of me!

The Bible—especially the book of Proverbs—repeatedly tells us to avoid foolishness. This foolishness, however, is not about jokes, hoaxes, and pranks. In Scripture, a “fool” is someone who refuses to listen to God and live according to his design, even though God is the author of life. Proverbs warns us about the consequences of foolishness: it leads to destruction (Prov. 1:32), shame (3:35), grief (10:1), ruin (10:8), folly (14:24), punishment (16:22), strife (18:6), and even death (10:21).

We must avoid foolishness in how we coach and live. With this and the next few devotions, we’ll explore some ways Proverbs directs us to do so. Foundationally, we guard against foolishness through intentionally pursuing wisdom. Written from the perspective of a father giving advice to his sons, Proverbs 4:5-8 speaks to the urgency of pursuing wisdom:

5 Get wisdom, get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn away from them.

6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;

love her, and she will watch over you.

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.

“Wisdom” is simply understanding practically how to live according to God’s design for us, whether as a coach or in any other area. How do we acquire wisdom? Through a right relationship with the Lord. This is another theme of Proverbs, found in passages such as Prov. 9:10—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” To “fear the Lord” is to recognize how truly awesome God is. This leads us to respond to him with deep reverence that motivates us to listen to God, to be amazed at him, and humbled that he would draw near to us and make a way for us to personally relate to him through faith in Christ. We “get wisdom” and “get understanding” as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, trusting him and obeying him as he directs us in how to think, speak, and act. 

Why pursue the wisdom that comes through knowing and revering the Lord? First, because wisdom protects. This is the promise of Prov. 4:6—“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” Seeking wisdom from God protects you from the destruction, shame, grief, etc., that comes with foolishness. It’s not hard to think of examples of coaches whose foolish words or actions led to ruinous consequences. When you instead pursue understanding from God’s Word about his design for how to live in every situation, you avoid the destructive results that sin and foolishness bring.

Pursue wisdom because wisdom protects. Here’s a second reason given in the Proverbs 4 passage: wisdom pays.This is the encouragement of v. 8: “Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” The goal of Christ-following coaches is to be transformational—to be channels through whom God can do his life-transforming work in those you coach. You may not be the most naturally gifted coach, or have the most impressive credentials, or lead a program with the most resources. But when you coach and lead with wisdom that comes from God, the pay-off is unrivaled in value: being used by the Lord to make an eternal difference.

Do you want to avoid foolishness in how you coach and live? “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Pursue wisdom through pursuing a right relationship with the Lord. Put your trust fully in Christ. Seek him and his wisdom through studying God’s Word. Prayerfully ask the Lord for his wisdom day by day in every situation. 

For reflection: Meditate on Prov. 4:5-8 for a few minutes. Consider how God is speaking to you about more intentionally pursuing wisdom through deepening your relationship with him.



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