22 "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you had responded to my rebuke,
I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.
24 But since you rejected me when I called
and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you ignored all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you-
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me.
29 Since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30 since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm."
When I read these verses, I wondered why people reject wisdom. After reading this chapter, I realized that the other word for wisdom is conscience. Therefore, every time we hear our conscience trying to stop us before we fall, it is really the call of wisdom. Therefore, the reasons I came up with are the way we respond to our conscience.
One of the reasons people use to reject wisdom is that wisdom tells us what we don’t want to hear. When we are in high school, and get invited to a party with drinking, and drugs, wisdom reminds us of the consequences of drinking, and drugs, but we tell ourselves, it’s an opportunity to socialize, and fit in with our friends. Many of us will turn it down, but others tell themselves they can handle it, and there’s no reason to worry.
Another reason wisdom is rejected is that people don’t trust easy answers. The reason so many people procrastinate is the fear that something will be harder than it really is. Wisdom tells us to do something now, and it isn’t as hard as we imagine. What we do is put it off until the problem gets worse, and the consequence is that it will take more time, and more money to fix.
We are afraid that if we listen to wisdom, and do things correctly before the deadline, people will start to expect it all the time. When some people go to work, they don’t perform to their full potential because if the boss expects it all the time and we fail at any point, we think the boss will yell, or even fire us. This fear is usually unfounded, and when they apply themselves to their work, they find they can handle their job. The consequence of not listening to wisdom is smaller raises, no promotions, and getting fired in some cases.
The biggest reason people reject wisdom is that wisdom makes us responsible for our own actions. Before the sixties, most people felt responsible for what they did, but since then, society placed the responsibility on our parents, or our environment, or the school system, but very rarely on ourselves. In doing so, society has created a generation of kids who don’t feel they have to think for themselves. They feel the government should take care of them, and that wisdom is outdated. The consequence of this is that people have become slaves to society, and its rules.
By rejecting wisdom, people may think their getting something better, and in the short term it sounds like a fun life, but continuing to ignore wisdom’s call will have some long term consequences that may be hard to break free.
Challenge: If you hear wisdom warning you not to do something, listen to it, and think about the consequences if you don’t.