One of my sons has a saying …. "Make stupid choices; win stupid prizes!" And he's right.
I'm not talking about the occasional slip-up. We all do things that would never make it into the list of our top ten best life choices.
I've stood on the very, very top step of a ladder that was balanced on two different stairs so I could change a light bulb in the ceiling. Probably not one of my better choices, right? If the ladder had slipped, I'd have fallen NOT just from the ladder but ALSO down half a dozen stairs. Duh!!!
Neither am I talking about accidents, of course. Sometimes things happen that are unexpected or unanticipated. In those cases you simply have to do the best you can.
But there's an entire category of people who make stupid choices every day. Actually, to be more precise, these are FOOLISH choices. (Because "stupid" might indicate an issue with intelligence, and that is not the point here.) They make these foolish choices deliberately. Their foolish choices are literally ruining every area of their lives. These sorts of choices end up placing you into what I call the PRISON OF FOOLS.
Foolishness is the opposite of wisdom. Foolishness is, in fact, a decision to abandon wisdom. Regardless of your level of education, when the outcome of your choices bring you pain and loneliness, it just makes sense to make better choices. When someone continues to make those same foolish choices day after day and year after year, the find themselves in the Prison of Fools.
The prison of fools is inhabited by the most miserable people you've ever met. Their lives are filled with pain at every level. But they have chosen to live in this prison. More importantly, they can choose to leave it. Wisdom is the key that unlocks the door of the Prison of Fools. Wisdom brings freedom.
The bible tells us that wisdom is more to be desired than gold. God's wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy. James tells us that God promises to give His wisdom to all who ask Him for it. Here's the specific promise: "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."
ANY OF YOU
Well, that pretty much opens the door, doesn't it! ANY means --- "ANY." No one excluded, no one pushed away. If ANY of us lacks wisdom, all we need to do is ask God.
HE GIVES GENEROUSLY
How much wisdom do you want? God gives it generously, so ask BIG!!!
WITHOUT FINDING FAULT
God is well aware of how foolish we can be. His promise of wisdom hands us the key that opens the door of the Prison of Fools. And He does it WITHOUT finding fault. No finger pointing. No accusations about what you should have known or done. Just a generous gift of wisdom, which becomes a generous gift of freedom.
IT WILL BE GIVEN
This is an unconditional promise. James didn't write, "it will be given to those who fast and pray for two weeks." Nor did he say, "it will be given if you travel to a specific city or church to ask for it." God just tells us to ASK, and He promises that it WILL BE given.
Yes, you! Without regard for your past. Regardless of how badly or often you've blown it. No matter how much or how little money you've got left or you squandered. YOU are in the perfect position to ask for the keys.
I'm away from home right now, working on a project in the capital city. Every day I drive by a large federal prison. There are very high walls, even higher fences and more concertina barbed wire than I've seen in quite a long time. From the inside of the prison you can see the outside world; you just can't get there. UNLESS someone opens the door and tells you that you're free to leave.
That's God's offer. Ask for His wisdom. Accept the life-giving correction that God gives you. Act upon His wisdom. You'll be handed the keys to the Prison of Fools. You're free to leave.
Whoever heeds life-giving correction will not live in the Prison of Fools; they'll be at home among the wise. (Proverbs 15:31 BRV*)
(*The Bishop Robert Version) 🙂