Wise vs. Wild Contrast #20: Teachability
TeachabilityHer willingness to be corrected and instructed
Girl-Gone-Wild: “She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction. She does not rust in the Lord; she does not draw near to her God.” Zephaniah 3:1-2
Girl-Gone-Wise:The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31
Sadly, the man falls for the seduction. He follows the woman home and they spend the night together. The “stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant,” but the story doesn’t have a happy ending (Proverbs 9:17-18). The young man didn’t realize that when he went to her house, he went to his grave. Maybe her husband finds out. Maybe she gets pregnant. Maybe he gets an STD. Maybe he loses his reputation. Maybe he’s overcome with guilt and shame. Maybe she breaks his heart. Maybe he gets drawn deeper into sin. We don’t know the details, but we do know that his decision disrupts his relationship to God. It leads to spiritual death. She promises him a slice of heaven, but he ends up in the pit of hell.
We’ve come to the end of the story, and to the last point of contrast between the wild and the wise. The simple young man who lacked sense and the wily seductress who caused his downfall are examples of two individuals who failed to walk in the way of wisdom. The Sage urged his son to pay close attention to their mistakes, so that he might learn from them. That’s why he told the story. And that’s why he wrote his book. The dad wanted his son to become wise. He wanted him to understand words of insight, to receive instruction, to be discerning and not naive, and to advance in knowledge and discretion. The Sage figured that everybody who was wise would pay attention to the meaning of the story and to all the proverbs that he wrote down. His wise words would help readers increase in learning and knowledge. They would make the wise increasingly wise (1:2-5).
The section containing the story of the Proverbs 7 woman concludes with the concept of a personal invitation. A personification of the trait of wisdom, Lady Wise invites you to her feast. Above the din and bustle of daily life, she cries out and summons you to sit down at her table and listen to her correction and counsel.
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. . . . For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:20-33)
Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? . . . Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. (Proverbs 8:10-11)
[Wisdom] has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” (Proverbs 9:2-6)
Hers is not the only, nor the loudest voice you’ll hear. Lady Wild is also extending an invitation for you to go over to her place.
The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But . . . the dead are there . . . her guests are in the depths of Sheol. (Proverbs 9:13-18)
Lady Wise and Lady Wild both call for guests to come and dine at their tables. Lady Wise has slaughtered a beast and served up bread and wine. She serves up a rich and bountiful feast that will be sure to satisfy. Her only stipulation is that her guests be willing to forsake foolishness and walk in the way of wisdom. The “feast” of Lady Wild is a cheap imitation. She offers stolen water and bread-a veiled reference to illicit sex and everything else that God says is off limits. Lady Wild invites you to indulge in foolishness. She entices you with the idea that sin is sweet and pleasant, that you don’t have to listen to God-that you can do whatever you want. But the simple young man who accepted her invitation discovered it was a ruse. Her seductive invitation leads to spiritual death.
The choice is up to you. Are you teachable? Are you willing to listen and accept God’s wisdom for your life? Are you committed to learning and making the necessary adjustments? “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31). The three Wild Things would refuse the invitation. Scoffing Sue would respond with, “How dare you suggest my way is wrong?” Foolish Fran would say, “No thanks. I’ve got it all figured out.” And Simple Sally would pipe in with, “Not right now. Maybe later.” How about you? How will you respond? Lady Wise and Lady Wild are calling you to their tables. You will dine with one or the other. Whose invitation will you accept? Will you be a Girl-Gone-Wild, or a Girl-Gone-Wise?
Â© Mary A. Kassian
This is a pre-publication excerpt from “Girls Gone Wise in a World gone Wild,” Â© Mary A. Kassian to be published by Moody Publishers in 2010. All rights reserved. You are welcome to link to this post, but please do not copy and/or reproduce this copyrighted material without express written permission of Moody Publishing.