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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Considering a change?

Have you met anyone who is so bent on doing things their own way that no matter how much you attempt to advise them differently, they simply argue their point harder and harder, trying to convince you their way is right?  It usually doesn't go well for them because their "myopic" view of life is so limited they cannot see the collision course with disaster they are on.  The scripture is plain - fools don't want to learn from others.  I think one of the hardest things you can do is try to argue with someone "bent" toward foolish decisions.  They just don't want to consider other options - as though admitting their may be more sensible things to do or choices to make, they are admitting they don't know everything!  Shortsighted individuals don't know the big picture and they often refuse to see it.  It isn't that it doesn't exist, they just cannot get it into focus in their lives.  I am near-sighted.  I have the ability to see things near me pretty clearly, but the farther away they get, the blurrier they become.  I need my glasses on to help me "clarify" the picture.  I would be foolish to drive without my glasses.  I wouldn't even consider it.  The fool will deny the need for glasses, and may in fact believe the world is usually "blurry"!


Some people like to do things their own way, and they get upset when people give them advice. Fools don’t want to learn from others. They only want to tell their own ideas. Wise people want to learn more, so they listen closely to gain knowledge. (Proverbs 18:1-2, 15 ERV)

There is probably another reason people like to do things on their own - they don't want to deal with the time it takes to consider another person's viewpoint or way of doing things.  To the fool, the time it takes to actually step into another person's shoes is kind of wasteful.  They just don't see it as valuable. They might expect everyone else to see things their way, but the idea they could actually benefit from seeing things the way another does just doesn't seem worth the effort.  Fools avoid the "gaining knowledge" phase of life because it requires so much work!  Foolish people don't like to "work" at life. Their viewpoint is easiest for them.  Consider this - to "see from a different viewpoint" one must actually get up from where they are at and then change their position.  The fool has a hard time with giving up their position.  They are kind of "fixed" in place when it comes to their opinion and it is hard to get them to move.

Wise people remain open to the ideas of another because they know their is an advantage to seeing things from another's vantage point.  I am only 5 foot 4 inches tall.  My son is 6 foot 4 inches tall.  His additional 12 inches in height gives him a vantage point I don't have - unless I use a step ladder!  He can reach things on the top shelf of the cabinets, hang things from the hook on the patio without standing on his tiptoes and can see over the fence without having to stand on a crate.  He also has a harder time fitting in a car, getting into small spaces, and not being obtrusive in the movie theater!  It is all in perspective! He may have a different vantage point which works to his benefit some of the time, but at others, that same vantage point makes it harder for him in life.  The same is true when we dig our heels in and refuse to consider the vantage point of another's experiences, learning, and advice!

It isn't that a fool absently believes there is not other way outside of his own, he just has grown quite comfortable with his own way of doing things.  I daresay we can all fall into that category at times.  We get into the "rut" of going about things the same way over and over again.  Then we wonder why we achieve the same results (good or bad) when we do!  I once had a friend who said, "If you always do what you always do, you will always get what you have always gotten."  It may not be grammatically correct, but you get the idea, don't you? Doing things the same way time and time again and refusing to consider any other possibility of doing things - this is the definition of futility and stubbornness.  A recipe for disaster with those two ingredients!

We cannot argue with a fool.  We cannot often advise them, but this doesn't mean we stand absently by and never say a thing.  We can "put it out there", but if they choose not to listen to our advice, we shouldn't be surprised.  Their folly keeps them bound to their way - even when our vantage point might just seem a little appealing to them.  It requires change and fools rarely like change! Just sayin!