Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 7
I tend to be a guy of extreme tastes. My wife says that I have an iron stomach. I love very hot and spicy foods like hot wings, hot salsa at Mexican restaurants, and hot sauce on my pizza. I even put hot sauce as dressing on salads sometimes. I also like really sour and tart things like sour patch kids and key lime pie. However my wife, who is a very wise and loving wife, makes me eat some meals that are less extreme at times. She knows that I need balance because if I ate really hot stuff every meal it might cause damage.
Wisdom lives in the area of balance. We as humans tend to be extreme in our thoughts and emotions. We use words like always and never to describe things. We are workaholics at times and lazy bums at other times. Some of us are overly passionate about everything and some are apathetic about most things. We are all capable of so many different thoughts and emotions but wisdom is the power to choose the correct response and emotion for the occasion.
Solomon gives an example in verses 15-18 when he talks about the righteous man who perishes. When I first read this, I had a hard time understanding what Solomon was getting at. How does a righteous man perish by being right? Then on further study I learned that term “righteous” and righteousness” do not refer exclusively to moral rightness but also to being right in one’s cause (ESV study notes). In other words, “Be not overly righteous” is a warning to not be a know-it-all. Sometimes you might be right but the cause is not worth fighting. Have you ever fought to be right with your friends or spouse and won the argument but hurt them and lost their trust? Maybe you even lost the relationship all together? To insist on always being right can be self-destructive and can lead to alienation. Paul talks about this idea in 1 Corinthians 6:7, “To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?”
Question to Ponder:
Where do you need to exercise wisdom in your life? Are you a person that fights to be right the majority of the time? Who do you need to practice Proverbs 19:11 with?
Posted by: Chad Wiles