My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):
Have you ever had a friend who just wouldn’t listen to advice, no matter who it came from? Some people don’t seem interested in what other people have to say. Even if you’ve done something for fifteen years, and know how to do it the best way possible, they don’t want to hear your advice. They’re going to do it their way, come what may. Those kind of people wouldn’t take cooking advice from Julia Child herself, and they certainly wouldn’t ask Jeremy Lin for pointers on how to improve their basketball game. They think they already know everything.
Today’s scripture has a recommendation for how to deal with such people: Don’t waste your breath. They’ll never learn from your mistakes, and they’ll only get angry with you if you try to offer advice. So, just keep your mouth shut.
Then, the author of Proverbs adds this comment that seems completely unrelated: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” What does that have to with advice on how to deal with know-it-alls? To understand the connection, we have to know that the word often translated as “fear” can also mean “awe” or “respect.”
When you think about it, who knows everything there is to know about everything? God. Who knows the best way to do whatever it is you’re trying do? God. Yet, instead of seeking wisdom from the One who knows literally everything, we muddle through on our own. Just like that person who has no sense of awe for Julia Child and her cooking abilities, or the one who has no respect for the basketball knowledge of Jeremey Lin, we act like know-it-alls who don’t need the One who actually knows it all.
Thought for the day: Whatever you need to do today, God knows how to do it better than you. Have some respect for God’s knowledge, and ask God to give you wisdom for today.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.