“Foolish or Wiser – You Choose!” by Pastor Tim Burt
Prov 12:16 “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.“
I was one of ten children – number five for those of you that would ask the question. I loved being part of a big family. Keeping ten growing children in adequate clothes was work. Mom did the best she could. She had to do what she could to conserve money so she made many of her purchases from a large local liquidating company that had huge sales of large inventories of different kinds of items each week. They would buy inventory from stores that went through fires or disasters. Sometimes they would get a store full of clothing marked irregular. We got our fair share of irregular or slightly damaged ‘new’ clothing.
Did you know that because of the sin that is in the earth, we’ve all become either slightly damaged of slightly irregular? If you haven’t admitted that to yourself yet, then you’ve only noticed those around you but have forgotten to look in the mirror. The sin in the world has left its influence and mark on each of us.
Because we have our quirks, we often manifest them but don’t notice them ourselves. We are too busy noticing the quirks, flaws and irregularities in others. Out flaws will always be a part of life. I’m so thankful for the power of the Holy Spirit to help transform us and help correct and reduce some of those flaws and irregularities. But, let’s be real. That is a very progressive and ongoing work. I haven’t gotten rid of all mine yet – have you?
Today’s Fresh Manna says, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” For the most part, an insult is an intended offense although many people say insulting things without ever realizing it. Then there are all the little annoyances that aren’t really an insult but they bug us like one. For example, the car that squeezes in front of you the second you allow just a little extra space on the highway. Or the person who cuts you off when you’re speaking because they weren’t listening to what you were saying to begin with. Or maybe the person that you just warned twice not to do something because it would have a bad result and yet they did it anyway and the bad result happened and if affected you as well as them.
The things that irritate or insult people would be endless if I created a survey. So, I won’t do that. Just talking about what bugs us has a way of stirring stir up negative feelings and that is the point of what I am writing about today. Some people let every little thing get to them. According to God’s Word, that makes them foolish. Again it says, “A fool shows his annoyance at once…” People that are easily and quickly annoyed have forgotten their own flaws and shortcomings
There are two things that will help us reduce and hopefully eliminate getting quickly annoyed. First, recognizing that all the annoyance in the world is not going to correct the flaws and quirks we all manifest. God’s Word working in us is the only cure and hope for real heart and behavioral change. That is something that happens slowly and over time which means there will be plenty of flaws around for a while. If I let them bug me, I’ll be bugged way too often. I’ll be the fool that shows his annoyance at once.
Secondly, I know that I probably irritate or rub others the wrong way whether I realize it or not. Some people at times have that affect on me and I’m sure I do on others. When they do, what do I do with those irritations? If I don’t recognize my own, I’ll never find the mercy necessary to accept and navigate around those of others. So, I just take enough time to process the irritation in light of my own flaws and then overlook the offense and try to pray for the offender. It makes life simpler, keeps my emotions balanced, and helps manifest the wisdom of God. As Prov 19:11 says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
Of course there are real things in life that we have to address and confront that are wrong and inappropriate. But that’s not the point. The point is, frequent annoyances that we allow to irritate us often end up making us look like short-tempered, self righteous, jerks – what God calls foolish. Mercy and patience help us overlook the very things we offend others in and instead help us to be wise! They also help us save ourselves for real issues and enable us to confront real issues in a more loving, caring, and effective way. So when something is about to bug you, look into the mirror in your mind and see if you’ve done the same thing. Whether you have or haven’t, blow off the offenses you can and spend more time enjoying that which is good!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved