I recently made a startling discovery: I’m blind. Oh I can still see things. I can see my scooter sitting in the church parking lot, the very essence of glory. I can see the haze in the air that causes me to burst into a sweaty mess the moment I step out of my air conditioned office. I can see that my little finger is bent kind of funny because I dislocated it playing softball last year. But the truth is, I’m blind.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” This proverb describes a person that is blinded by their pride, blinded to the point of being convinced that they’re always right. This proverb perfectly describes me. Does it describe you?
Let me give you an example from my life. I recently had the privilege of preaching at my church. After my sermon, I asked my friend and fellow pastor, Joe, to give me input and suggestions for my message. In a kind and gentle way, Joe gave me several excellent suggestions as to how I might preach God’s word more effectively. No big deal, right? Wrong. The moment Joe began speaking, my heart began to rage within me. I was convinced that I didn’t need to hear what he was saying, didn’t need his advice, didn’t need any helpful suggestions. I can count the number of times I’ve preached on two hands, and Joe has preached many more times than I have. Yet I was thoroughly convinced that I had preached an outstanding message that had absolutely no room for improvement. I was blinded by my pride, and I was a fool.
Can you relate to me? Are you being a fool in any ways? How about at home? When your spouse or children or parents correct you, how do you respond? When they give you a suggestion, what is your initial reaction? Are you eager to listen, or quick to defend yourself? Do you invite correction, or raise barriers? How about at work? When a coworker suggests how you might improve a project, what goes on in your heart? Only a fool believes that he or she is always right. Don’t be a fool like me.