Willful Ignorance

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22).

The passage above provides the reason people do not seek wisdom: They enjoy “being simple.” Now this sounds strange that anyone would actually enjoy being simple. To understand why, we need to look at that word.

The term “simple” is similar to the word “fool.” It describes a person who chooses to live their life apart from God. The decision is willful; they actually desire that sort of life.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good” (Psalms 14:1).

“Simple” people live in an atmosphere apart from God. They neither desire His ways nor submit to Him. But what if a “simple” person repents and then turns to God? Not only will they receive forgiveness from God, they will no longer be simple.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

“Simple” people can turn from their ways and follow God. When they do, they not only enjoy God’s love and presence, but God gives them wisdom for daily living.

People do what they want to do. Yet the Bible urges them to flee such ignorance:

“O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense” (Proverbs 8:5).

We should seek wisdom daily in order to make wise decisions that honor God and keep us walking down a steady road. Here’s how to do that:

1. Place yourself in a position to hear God’s Word.
Every Christian needs to regularly hear the Word of God. Moreover, they need to hear it from someone who honors God’s Word and knows how to interpret it. While you hear it, make immediate application to your life. We grow in wisdom by applying God’s Word to our life.

2. Ask God for understanding.
God sent His precious Spirit to accomplish many things, one of which was to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit helps us understand the Bible (Ephesians 1:17-18). Pray for God to help you as you study His Word.

3. Practice making wise decisions.
Our best practice is to put into use what we learn from God’s Word. You will be amazed at the results. God longs to make us wise:

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

We serve a generous God, and He longs to impart to His children His heavenly wisdom. When He does, we will reap many special blessings as we put it into practice.


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