Wisdom and Foolishness

This week on The Allender Center Podcast, Dan Allender continues our ongoing series about wisdom by looking at the book of Proverbs to contrast the nature of wisdom with the opposing category of foolishness.

Anybody who knows everything about anything is actually counted by Scripture to be a fool.

The first category of foolishness that Dan engages is the refusal to learn from others and submit ourselves to the insights of mentors, teachers, and leaders.

“If you are so independent that you will not suffer the influence of another, you’ve already indicated that you are a fool.”

In addition to the failure to learn from others, foolishness is marked by the ability to learn from ourselves and the mistakes in our lives, like what Proverbs describes as a dog returning to its vomit. “A failure to profit from failure means that you continue to replicate, to reenact the errors of your past,” says Dan.

Dan goes on to describe the impulsiveness that marks a lack of wisdom—impulsiveness in how we speak and in how we interact with others through rage and intimidation. Foolishness, in this sense, is about the misuse of power and the desire to triumph over others. Along with the inability to learn from others and from our own mistakes, it leads to brokenness in our relationships and the painful reenactment of past harm.

Wisdom comes in the matrix of how we live out relationship with one another.

Next week on The Allender Center Podcast, Dan will continue this series by discussing the way that wisdom invites us to engage the binds of our world with creativity and integrity.