A Tale of Two Women
For whoever finds me finds life and . . . all who hate me love death. Proverbs 8:35-36
In Proverbs, Solomon personified wisdom and folly as two women, both of whom called to the son he was instructing. Folly is pictured as the seductive prostitute while wisdom is a chaste, Godly woman. Both women seek the attention of the young man, who must make his own choice. I find the illustration helpful as there are several painfully practical lessons in it for me.
First, folly always seduces with a mix of truth and lies. The adulterous prostitute promises immediate gratification, which she delivers, but she fails to mention the pain and misery that inevitably follows. This was the same with my drug addiction which delivered instant pleasure, only to give way to misery and pain later. Indulging in my destructive appetites is attractive but always comes at a cost.
Wisdom is a choice. I may pray for wisdom, but the truth is, I usually know right from wrong. I have often chosen wrong, not out of ignorance, but out of preference. Wisdom is right knowledge translating into right action. Mine is not a knowledge problem then, but a behavioral problem. I don’t usually need more knowledge, I need to make my feet follow what I already know to be right.
There will be times though, when we truly struggle with knowing right and wrong. Often, this is because we have been a stranger to wisdom. As we follow wisdom, we come to know her more, but most of us have pursued folly, distancing ourselves from wisdom. If we want wisdom, we must spend our time and energies pursuing her daily.
This is not just a choice for the sake of wisdom or folly. This is a daily choice leading to life or death. Both wisdom and foolishness are calling and the one we pursue today, determines the condition of our lives tomorrow. If we follow our own foolish desires, we will find destruction. If, however, we daily turn from ourselves, pursuing wisdom, we will find the life, joy and peace that God desires for us.