You are welcome in this place! Then, turning to those who are naive, she says: Come in. Come, eat my bread, and drink my spiced wine. Give up your gullible ways, your naive thoughts, for true life. Set your course for understanding. (Proverbs 9:4-6 VOICE)
When we think of someone as naive, we think they are lacking in "worldly wisdom", not really having much going for them in the way of informed or sound judgment. They are indeed kind of unknowing and unsuspecting of things that others who are considered a little "smarter" or "wiser" might not be so "tricked" by in their course of dealings. There are some who are young and gullible - readily taken advantage of by those who are on the lookout for their opportunity to make a point, take advantage, or just plain humiliate. God doesn't want us to either be naive or gullible - he wants us to come to a place where we "set our course" toward understanding.
The issue is that when we "turn a blind eye" or a "deaf ear" to things which should give us cause for concern, we kind of are approaching things as a little too naive or gullible. We open ourselves up for attack - we become easily exploited. God's intent is that no one be able to exploit us in any regard - emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. He wants us to possess wisdom to deal with the things some may use to "exploit" our lack of understanding in order to produce some benefit for themselves. It is kind of amazing in this world of high technology and the ability to research almost anything with just a few keystrokes on the keyboard that we can still be duped into believing some of the stuff we do!
I watched a news report about a man who runs a pillow manufacturing business because he wanted to create that "perfect pillow" that everyone needs. I had just observed the advertisement this weekend and noted he was making a two-for-one offer - buy one, get the other free - just because he is grateful for our business! The news report showed how the Better Business Bureau just dropped his rating from A+ to F because of his false advertising and his unwillingness to stop running that two-for-one offer which was really a scam, charging customers nearly $85 for the two pillows! Obviously someone was being duped into believing the lie that this was some tremendous "deal" or "gift" from his company, but they became wise to his wacky deal and reported it!
We can be duped into believing whatever we are open to receiving - this is what I want us to understand more than anything today. We don't set out to embrace untruth or engage in silly schemes designed to exploit us in some regard. We get "drug in" or "lured into" something we probably didn't want to be into in the first place. Think of two magnets for a moment. Have you ever tried to put them in alignment when their similar 'poles' - putting the negatively charged pole next to the negatively charged pole? When the negatively charged pole of one magnet is brought next to the positively charged pole of the other magnet, they attract each other. When both are similarly charged and brought together, they repel each other. Those who seek to engage us in behavior which is contrary to the way we should be acting will do so by using a clever way to attract us with the "opposite" of what we might have normally considered or been engaged in.
What gets the mouse to the trap is the enticement of the cheese, my friends. The trap is just a piece of wood and metal until it is armed with cheese! Once armed, it can attract the hungry. What we hunger for must be more wisdom - more of Jesus within us - so we won't be drawn to what should not attract us in the first place. Do you know why a compass arrow points North? The arrow of the compass is referred to as "North seeking" - it is drawn to the polar opposite of what it is itself. What we need to be drawn to is the polar opposite of what we are ourselves - into relationship with Jesus - from the naive and gullible ways of a wayward child into the stability and wholeness of a Christ-centered child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Just sayin!