Proverbs 26:7

“Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,

  is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”

Proverbs 26:7 ESV

This proverb resonates deeply with me due to a series of recent injuries, including a broken shoulder, 4 broken ribs, and a broken elbow … all on the same side. While my legs have not yet been rendered useless, in so many ways my right side seems useless. Because of the timing of my injury to my shoulder, then to my elbow, I do wonder how much function I will be able to recover. What has been my dominant side, the arm and hand that I once used to throw a baseball, stack boxes at UPS, to write, to hold and provide for my loved ones is now almost unusable. Something that has had so much potential and productivity, seemingly no longer does.

In a similar way, a proverb, a word of wisdom and instruction, appears to offer promise, but simply hangs limp, which is tragic. Perhaps the fool misspeaks the proverb, turning it from wisdom to folly. Perhaps the fool’s life betrays or undermines any wisdom offered in such a proverb. Perhaps the fool intentionally rewords the proverb to support his foolish life. Whatever the reason, here, we are warned that a proverb in the mouth of a fool hangs useless.

A good question to ask ourselves is, To whom do we turn for wisdom? Do we seek wisdom from the world or from God. There is a critical difference. Here’s how Paul makes this point: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV). Be careful from whom you seek wisdom.

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