Probing Proverbs 8:32-34 “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!
Wisdom illuminates a tremendous Truth concerning why we often fail to do what is right. Many, when they think about sin, see it as a Commission. Something they do! Yet, in the middle of this passage is one little word that is where most sin takes place. “Ignore!” This is Omission…something we don’t do. As stated before, Wisdom is not hiding or hard to find, however, Wisdom will not force herself on us. We are to be the ones to propose! Wisdom has made her intentions clear, she desires a relationship with us…she is waiting for us! All we must do is; “listen,” “follow,” “watch and wait for.” These are commission statements. We must be proactive.
Sadly many times we are just complacent, that is when we omit what we should do. The word ignore in the original means - “to let loose” in the sense of “to let slip through the fingers,” – how tragic! Sound asleep on our feet, that which we could have had slipped through our grasp. So many times I have found myself “acting” before I “think.” I have learned most times this came as a result of “unconscious living,” resulting in “acts of omission.” This very omission, (or inaction/passivity) more times than not, leads us into greater sin! When we ignore our world we miss the opportunities God brings our way. What causes us to ignore? The reasons are varied, but important to consider so we can alert ourselves to any danger we may be in.
* 1st – The most obvious – Deliberate Intention. We decide we just do not want to deal with Truth so we ignore it…hoping it will go away.
* 2nd – Confused Priorities. We fail to understand what is really important so we pay attention to lesser issues and ignore the bigger ones. Example: making sure you dress nice and are on time to Church, with Bible in hand…yet, inside you judge others, offer no help to those in need and Sunday is the only day you read the Word.
*3rd – Passivity – Whether a person was brought up this way, or chose to avoid conflict, when we refuse to stand on conviction and place clear boundaries in our daily lives, we will allow wrong and even condone sin through our silence, which is ignoring Truth.
* 4th – Sensitive Feelings. The Truth was brought the wrong “way”; so instead of paying attention to the message, you just ignore and dismiss it because the messenger was sloppy.
* 5th – Been There, Done That. You’ve heard this before, so you think you know it…problem is your not living it! Reviewed Truth is still Truth and we should pay attention, the Lord might be trying to encourage us to learn more than we think we know.
** In Closing, there are more, but I want to share one last one…the most subtle one of all. Busyness. Our life is moving so fast that a lot of Truth just flies by us and we don’t hit the brakes to consider it. We control the pace of our life, and if we allow speed to blur “Truth”…in essence we are ignoring it. The excuse of to many “tasks” will not stand. If we are really that busy, we cannot afford to lack Wisdom!
Look at this list – are there others that you can think of? What about the ones I have named, any look familiar? Is it worth ignoring the greatest counselor there is, when so much can be at stake? What do you need to do to make sure you stop, and listen?