Proverbs 1:32-33

32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,

   and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety

   and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

 

 It is tempting to think that our biggest problems are outside of us; to be preoccupied with the dangers of nature, environment or society. But wisdom tells us that our biggest problems are within, that we ought to be much more concerned with waywardness and complacency than with crime and catastrophe. Though we may not want to hear this, it is great news. It may take away some of our excuses, but it also empowers us to grow in wisdom, self-discipline, and virtue.

 

 “But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” The world not only tells us that our biggest problem is “out there,” but also that the solution is within. We are told to “follow your heart,” and “find your true self,” as though if we tried hard enough we could escape sin and death. Wisdom’s advice is exactly the opposite: your biggest problem is within, and the solution must come from the outside. “Trust in the Lord” she says, “and not in yourself.” It is He who makes known “the path of life.”

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