Summary: Every bit of wisdom we can incorporate into our thinking helps us make better choices in both this life and in our walk with God.

A Pinch of Wisdom Goes A Long Way

(Proverbs 27:1-3)

1. Every year our church has a soup contest. One year, I decided to try making tortilla soup – with Emeril’s recipe.

2. I had never used chipotle peppers before, but I knew they were smoked jalepenos.

3. So when the recipe called for a half of a chipotle, I thought “Sure this mean half a can.”

4. Emeril mean ½ of a single pepper. Although chipotles are jalepenos, they are much more mature – and much hotter. And smoking them multiples the heat.

5. So I took about a third of that soup and added chicken broth. It was still hot, but edible.

6. Sometimes, a little goes a long way. This is true in the realm of wisdom. Every bit of wisdom we accumulate improves our decisions and quality of life.

Main Idea: Every bit of wisdom we can incorporate into our thinking helps us make better choices in both this life and in our walk with God.

I. Tame Yourself When You are Tempted to Make Assumptions About the FUTURE(1).

A. Taking a self-assured view of the future betrays a propensity to CONTROL.

1. This is not discouraging planning, but cocky confidence & presumption.

2. Hamaan thought when Esther invited him to a banquet, he had it made.

3. The rich foolish farmer parable (Luke 12); a lot stored up, let’s enjoy!

4. In Daniel 5, Belshazzar is hosting a massive drunken party….hand on wall

5. The positive thinking movement tells us not to think about negative, pessimists can be menaced by their own shadows…good or bad things might happen…

B. Our confidence in the future can be a sign of ARROGANCE.

1. James 4:13-14a, 15, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring… Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that…”

2. This confidence can displace the need for dependence upon God.

C. Being confident of tomorrow falls within the category of ASSUMPTIONS.

D. We want to be discerning and wise, but neither gullible nor SUSPICIOUS.

A family of five was rushed to the hospital to have their stomachs washed out after the cat with whom they had shared a meal of mushrooms suddenly began to have stomach contractions. While members of the family showed no signs of illness, the doctor still had them rushed to the hospital. When they returned home they found the cat feeling well, after having produced five kittens.

• Saving for retirement, plan ahead; but serve God and enjoy life now, you might not make it. Fools do not plan for the future, but fools also treat assumptions as fact.

II. Remind Yourself: Boasting Can Get You in TROUBLE (2).

A. The first century Jews believed that the true Messiah would not identify Himself DIRECTLY.

B. When others boast, it is tempting to boast in REPLY.

1. Ever found yourself trapped in a boasting match conversation? You don’t want people to think that the boaster is the only one has skills, knowledge, experience, or expertise.

2. I can fall into this trap, the secret to is be aware of what is going on. Then don’t play.

C. There is a balance between honesty, being forthcoming, and tooting your own HORN.

Tim Challies gives some examples about how people subtly brag on Facebook:

“Is anyone else going to be at the White House tonight? It would be great to meet up…” Or again, “Does anyone know if you can claim a yacht as a home office?

“I just got asked to perform at the Dove Awards. Go Jesus!”

“Tried shopping on Amazon and they recommended my own book to me. Fail!”

“When I bought this Ferrari no one warned me I’d get pulled over all the time.” []

D. Once again, PRIDE or arrogance might be the motivating factor in a foolish behavior.

• If you are really good at something, you won’t need to toot your own horn.

• When it comes to boasting, the key is to monitor ourselves – that takes effort.

III. Don’t Fret: It Is NORMAL to Get Aggravated with Foolish People (3).

This verse can be understood in two different ways. It could mean that a foolish man’s anger is very heavy, or it could mean the anger provoked in others by a foolish man.

A. Fools make the same mistakes OVER and over and rarely learn.

1. “I know I should have done it, but it did it anyway.”

2. Foolish people rarely fact that they are foolish….just victims of misfortune.

3. This is why the church can never completely transform a society or community.

B. When we make foolish choices, we hurt OTHERS.

1. Foolish choices not only hurt the ones who make them, they affect others.

2. Sometimes innocent bystanders.

3. Take the man who says, “Let me light a match to see if this gas pipe is leaking.”

4. He not only dies, he leaves his wife a widow, his children do not have a dad, and someone’s house is no more – and a firefighter may have been injured or killed trying to put out the fire.

C. Fools often have no idea how they BURDEN others.

1. It is human nature to get aggravated over foolish behavior.

2. It is always an ordeal to move heavy bags of concrete or sand – sometimes 80 lbs.

3. When we get aggravated over the things people do, it is compared to such a strain.

4. Maybe you have a family member who keeps making bad choices; you get aggravated, but there is nothing that you can do.

D. People who value wisdom tend to act less foolishly, for they are TEACHABLE.

E. People who want to be UNRESTRAINED want to follow their emotions and excuse their choices because they were “overwhelmed.”

F. Although we may be frustrated, God calls us to try to influence FOOLISH people.

1. We still must love foolish people. Love and prayer might break through where reasoning will not. Foolish people can change through discipleship. Many will not.

2. Advice won’t work, argument won’t work.

3. We must protect ourselves as best we can from being harmed by foolish people.

4. Proverbs tells us, don’t lend them money, don’t hang around them or they will rub off on you, and do not reinforce their foolish decisions.