Words of Wisdom - Be Discerning - Ecclesiastes 7:5-6
February 28, 2023, 8:20 AM

“It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.”

There is lots of advice to be heard. Some of it is wise. Other advice is quite foolish. A discerning person will not accept what is being said without some evaluation of which is full of hot air. The increase of bad information and misguided advice is only a click of a finger on the internet. Emails are full of forwards that are frankly hoaxes.

Why do such con artists use Christian language and plead for help from brothers and sister in the Lord? Because it works. They get thousands every day from people gullible enough to want to help and soon the scam spreads. Be discerning. If it is too good to be true it almost always is.

On the other side there are people who are wise and need to be listened to. I have gained much from people helping people sharing their stories on the internet. Some people who have gone through various circumstances become excellent teachers.

If we are open to God's teaching, it comes in many ways and through many experiences. The greatest way to grow in our faith is through the difficult times. We can learn from praise, but I learn more from criticism. Criticism from any source hurts. One who is open to it, learns from wise words of someone who tells us something for our own good. Ask yourself, “ls there some truth to what is being said?”

When you hear the criticism, consider the source. If comments are from a fool, forget it. If it is from one who is always complaining about something, don't take it too seriously. If it is someone who has a grudge on their shoulder, take that into account. Those who truly love you are well meaning in the advice they give. Some of the advice still needs to be judged and often checked out by those who have greater knowledge in some areas. It is easy to become defensive instead of carefully listening to what is said and evaluating it. Be discerning and figure out what is solid and what is error that should be spit out.

Application: Unpleasant words will come. If we choose the paths of wisdom, we can find growth in those situations. Reprimands are not pleasant, but sometimes needed. Learn from them. Be open to learn from them. Judge if what is said might be applicable. Pray about it, and then change where you can, and where you can't, then turn that area over to God.

Prayer:  Lord, I do pray for a spirit of discernment. Whenever criticism comes my way, help me to sort it out as to if it is from you or should be spit out. I love and trust YOU Lord to answer this prayer.