Week 29: The Way of the Fool

Week 29: The Way of the Fool

Today’s Text: Proverbs 11-12

Key Text: Proverbs 12:15

“The way of the fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”

I once heard someone say something to the effect that “if advice worked, there would be no problems in the world.” I have often wondered about that.

There seems to be no lacking of advice in the world. I certainly offer plenty of it on this blog, hopefully not in a haughty or arrogant way, just sharing what I have found to work in my life from a Biblical perspective.

There also seems to be no lacking of problems in the world. Maybe for all the advice out there, Biblical and otherwise, people still pretty much do their own thing – sometime with disastrous results.

On the other hand, the wise woman or man listens to advice. He or she weighs it carefully, and if a person of faith, prayerfully.

Sometimes that will lead a person to take the advice as offered. Other times, upon reflection, he or she realizes that following said advice will only make matters much worse.

So, discernment is key.

I’m not one to rewrite Scripture, but here I am tempted. It seems to me the best proverb might be “the way of the fool seems right to him, but the wise man carefully and prayerfully discerns what advice is best, which is most in line with God’s counsel, and follows it.”

O.K. – so it’s a little wordy. So much for my editing skills.

At any rate, here’s my invitation.

Whatever path you’re on – be wise. Don’t assume you know what’s best. Don’t assume you know what to do next.   Don’t even assume you are on the right path. Don’t go it alone. Pray for guidance, read what Scripture has to say on the matter, follow God’s counsel as best you can.

That’s my advice, anyway.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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