Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Our Own Eyes Of Deception
How do you think Hitler saw himself as he made the orders that ended so many innocent people’s lives? Or how about the people in the planes on September 11, 2001. Or Timothy McVeigh when he destroyed the Murrah building? Each one of these guys thought they were wise. They thought they were doing what was right. What needed to be done. They had made up their minds that there was a problem and they had the cure. The solution to every problem.
As I step back and think about these people and others like them, I do my best to get into their head. From outside perspective, it’s easy to ask, “how can anyone do something like this?“ “what kind of monster were they?” But once you understand the circumstances of each one, it becomes a little clearer.
Hitler had a personal grudge against the Jews and an ego that placed himself and a group of people above anyone else. He was practicing population control, genetic purity and getting back at the Jewish culture for his upbringing. He thought he was wise and doing a good deed for all humanity.
The men on the plane were not Americans. Their beliefs and convictions were so strong in their faith that they believed they were doing a heroic act for their faith. Their god would be pleased with the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for his sake and they would be lavishly rewarded when they met Ala. They saw mass murder , suicide and the start of a war as obedient, rewarding and wise.
And Timothy McVeigh. He had seen some serious corruption with in the government. He was determine to make people see the truth about the American government and needed a big show to get a big audience. And it worked. He saw his plan as deserving and wise.
I’m not saying I agree with the acts of these people. Honestly, how could I? But they were doing what they thought was right. What was just. What was wise in their own eyes. I wonder, what would have happened if someone had given them truth, wisdom and sound counseling. Would they have listened to it? Would they have ignored it? Or would it have irritated them to the point of dealing harshly with the truth giver? And who knows, maybe someone did and I personally am unaware of it.
It’s easy to look at these kind of people and think “ how could you?” And when compared to men like this, we tend to not place ourselves in the same foolish bracket as them. But, what if I told you that we all act like that.
Have you ever done something you thought was right and ended up making things worse? If not, then we should be friends. I could learn from you. As for me, I’m going to tell on myself here. As I sat down to finish writing this very devotion, my family broke out in turmoil. My daughter was screaming at my wife and my wife was frustrated with my daughter. I barge into the room to take care of business like a super dad. Come to find out, the issue was over my daughter not wanting to fold her laundry...again. Angry over the recurring issue and lack of respect on my daughters end, I quickly solve the problem by loading up all her cloths except the set she wore today and the pj’s she had on. I had her help me take them all out to my pick up to be dropped off at a charity first thing in the morning. It’s seemed right to me at the time. But as soon as I did it, 2 verses stuck with me. The first was...
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
According to this passage I am to be quiet and listen to the council of God. I obviously can’t do it on my own. So, what did God want to tell me?
The second verse was...
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. - Ephesians 6:4
God was telling me that I had over reacted and did not seek him first. I had disciplined my child out of anger. But to me at the time, I was being wise. Truly, I was not wise. I was a fool.
The application. We can’t do this on our own. When left to our own thoughts, we do stupid things thinking they are wise. We need God’s word to guide us and we need Godly men and women in our lives to be an audible voice for God when we start acting foolish.