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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Madam Stupidity and Sir Wisdom

Stupid is as stupid does - ever heard that one?  If you look it up in the Urban Dictionary, you will find it means an intelligent person who does stupid things is still stupid.  In other words, it means "you are what you do".  Chew on that one a bit and you might get a little depressed since much of our actions are contrary to what we might actually know better than to do! Back in the day, an individual labeled as "stupid" was usually considered to be kind of dull in his or her senses - they lacked the keenness or quickness of mental thought processing.  I have to say, there are times in my own life where I could have been labeled as such!  My slowness of mental processing, combined with the disconnect between my heart and my mind led me down some pretty mucky paths.  Been there?  Bought the shirt?  Wore it out yet?  Probably!  Whenever we "know better", then pursue the path anyway, we are acting a little like we are "slow on the uptake"!  We need the guide of Wisdom to help us overcome those moments of being too slow on the uptake, my friends.

Stupidity is reckless, senseless, and foolish. She sits in front of her house and on the highest hills in the town. She shouts to everyone who passes by, “If you are stupid, come on inside!” And to every fool she says, “Stolen water tastes best, and the food you eat in secret tastes best of all.” None who listen to Stupidity understand that her guests are as good as dead. (Proverbs 9:13-18 CEV)

Sometimes we just don't recognize when we are being duped by Madam Stupidity (the exact opposite of Sir Wisdom).  It might help to understand her "wiles" a little to realize how it is we are "duped" and find ourselves ambling without thought or pretense into her traps.

- She is reckless.  The first thing we see is this utter lack of concern with the consequences of any particular action.  If we find ourselves ambling down any path without any type of fear of the consequences, we are probably following Madam Stupidity right down the path into compromise.  She paves a path of "carelessness" - not a care in the world for the outcome.

- She is senseless.  The very next thing we might realize is how dulled her senses are and how much she wants our own senses to become as dull as hers.  Maybe this is why she bears the title "Madam Stupidity" - as her senses or conscience is dulled and she just ambles into things without forethought or concern.  Synonyms for senseless are such words as unperceiving, undiscerning, idiotic, or witless.  Ever heard someone say they wished they would have had their "wits" about them in a particular situation, but they seemed to have walked in "witless"?  They probably were following Madam Stupidity down her path!

- She is foolish.  The idea here is of lacking any forethought combined with a lack of caution. It is as though she throws caution to the wind - not willing to heed any sense of niggling within of a particular path being wrong or riddled with hidden dangers.  Fools rush in - ever hear that one?  I think it is because there is truth to it - fools don't stop long enough to give their actions any thought whatsoever - they just march along behind Madam Stupidity.

- She doesn't like to party alone.  This is why she shouts at everyone to come on inside - join the party, so to speak.  She looks for companions because senseless people don't like to journey alone - they do better in crowds.  This is probably why it so dangerous to be a follower in a crowd.  Jesus never asked for thoughtless "followers", he asked for disciples - those willing to be instructed, live under the instruction of the Teacher, and then replicate that instruction in others.  We simplify this into the term "follower", but when we lose site of the implication of what it means to follow obediently (with foresight and purpose), we are not really following as he requires.

- She encourages our misdeeds.  Stolen water and food eaten in secret may only be illustrations of how she encourages our misdeeds.  Take a hint here - she is not encouraging us toward right-living (righteousness), but toward doing what pleases our own lusts, intent of heart, and emotional whims.  Dangerous ground indeed.

The warning to us:  None of who listen to her actually realize anything good out of their folly!  She isn't in this for our good - remember - she doesn't like to party alone.  Madam Stupidity likes to sin - she wants others to follow along in her compromise - it makes her sin seem a little less ominous and a whole lot more "common".  She is a master at making sin seem common - perhaps this is what makes her appeals so dangerous for us.  Sin is common to mankind - but in Christ Jesus, we can walk as "uncommon" - rising above the appeal to sin regardless of how "grave" or "benign" the compromise might seem.  Just sayin!