Words of Wisdom: Pick Wisely Those Who You Desire to Follow, Ecclesiastes 7:5-6
It is better to listen to rebuke from a wise person than to listen to the song of fools. For like the crackling of [burning] thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This too is futile. Eccl 7:5-6 (HCSB)
No one desires to seek out a rebuke as words of encouragement! However, why is it that many young people today seem to be drawn to firm, authoritative older adults? Why do they actually listen attentively to firm but caring words of constructive criticism and correction, but only laugh along with the comments of their peers? Why is it that most people seek out an older, wiser mentor-friend for their life?
We all seek and need someone who genuinely loves us enough to tell us what we need to hear, even if it is not always what we want to hear. Most people realize soon enough that much of the chatter and comments amongst friends is not beneficial to them, but actually self-serving banter that is seeking approval for their own benefit. Many people need and desire laughter in their lives as some form of approval. However, laughter quickly fades like the “thorns that pop in the fire” which make a big snap sound, but quickly disappear in the flames.
A firm hand shake that connects two people is more lasting and significant than a slap on the back or some high five gesture that is seeking approval. We respond to those who genuinely care about our needs rather than promoting their own agenda. We all desire to spend valuable time with someone who will ask questions and listen to us about our lives, rather than constantly share about their own lives or how wonderful they are.
When we spend time seeking God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom in God’s Word we discover the caring but stern Father who loves us enough to say what we need to hear, not what we want to hear all the time. He firmly hugs us and holds our hand when we need to be directed and comforted about life. He chastises us and disciplines us when we stray, but does so with a loving heart that seeks only the best for us. The way God deals with us is the way we should seek to be a strong mentor-friend for others, and to seek such for our own lives.
Who is your mentor-friend? Who has God directed into your life? Or are you only interested in listening to the always laughing and joking buddy who really is only blowing his own horn for the attention he desires? Think about who you allow into your inner circle…
Who is wise and understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and lie in defiance of the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18 (HCSB)