Good Life

Clergy Column: Open your eyes to avoid being blinded by Mr. Folly

She was a woman I came to know because I wasn’t paying attention to life very closely. I know that sounds ridiculous, but let me finish.

I dare say everyone reading this can say the same thing. She’s one you don’t want to admit you’ve met because the result of that acquaintance is usually guilt, shame and embarrassment — all things we try to hide from each other as we struggle through life. The first few chapters of Proverbs speak to her counterpart, wisdom.

The woman of whom I speak is Ms. Folly. We know her as poor judgment, stupidity or foolishness. She speaks to our unregenerate heart, the place where thoughts become plans, followed by decisions, followed by actions, followed by either life or death. Can anyone relate?

Our heart, in the Hebrew understanding, is the locus of the will, where we do our thinking, weighing up, deciding and planning. So if my heart isn’t under the headship of God, but rather myself, then I can justify anything I choose to do, want to do, desire to do, right or wrong, morally acceptable or not. It’s the essence of the “me generation” — “I want what I want” and nothing else matters but me and my satisfaction.

Here’s how I see it playing out in just one example: Scripture teaches me that I am a new creation because I’ve come to God. I now have the choice to follow his will, choose to make God centered and honoring choices, but unless I’ve yielded my heart and continue to do so, I can still make poor choices that bring death rather than life. My choices can still be all about me even if I use God’s name or some other Christian jargon in the equation to validate it to myself or others; I can cover my motives from the outside but never from the holy spirit within me. Yet we try.

Husbands are taught (by example, good or bad) they are the head of the house; Scripture teaches that they are the priests of the home. Still a headship issue but from God’s point of view, that means he (the husband) is responsible for someone (his wife and children), to someone (God) — he is the servant to his wife and family.

Servanthood means God enables a man’s wife to be who God created her to be; he creates the atmosphere in the family whereby she sees Christ through his actions and attitudes and yields herself more to him and to God. The kids see a Christ-centered home and emulate that. These actions model biblical wisdom.

However, when we choose to sit under the hand of Ms. Folly, we reap what we sow. In this example, it’s children who perpetuate the sins of the father and a wife who’s spiritually malnourished. The husband’s choice opened the door for brokenness that only the holy spirit can redeem. But it will take a change of heart when his eyes are opened.