Good Angel, Bad Angel?
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Life is full of choices; everyone is familiar with the expression “angel on one shoulder, devil on the other." The devil represents temptation, while the angel represents conscience. We can all choose between doing what is right and doing what is wrong. Do we take the easier, more tempting and exciting path and accept the consequences, or do we choose the more difficult, less traveled path and avoid the consequences? It can be difficult to tell the difference at times, but if you read God’s Word the answers will become clear.
Solomon, son of David, King of Israel, animates right and wrong as two different women in Proverbs 8 and 9: Wisdom and Folly.
Wisdom says, “Listen to my instructions and be wise, don’t ignore it. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord” (NLT).
Folly “calls out to men passing by who are minding their own business. ‘Come in with me,’ she urges... ‘Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret, tastes the best!” ()
Verse 18 even boasts that those who listen to Folly are as good as dead.
According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, folly is thoughtless action resulting in tragic consequences and wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision regarding the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
When I was a teenager, I listened to Folly far too often. Wisdom was shouting at me, pleading with me to listen. However, I didn’t care about the consequences at the time, I just wanted to have a good time! My friends stole things from almost every store we entered. They seemed to enjoy stealing and got some great things. I knew it was wrong to steal, so I resisted the urge. However, when my friends pressured me, I started stealing right along with them.
One day, I made a bad decision that nearly landed me and my little sister in serious trouble! I attempted to steal some snacks from a small convenience store. When we tried to leave, the cashier stopped me and said she had been watching me and knew I had things in my pockets. She threatened to call the police unless I emptied my pockets. I was terrified and didn't want to get in any trouble, and I especially didn’t want my younger sister to get in trouble because of my poor decision, so I did as she asked. Fortunately, the cashier let us leave without repercussions. That day I learned a life lesson I will never forget!
As Solomon described in his parables from the book of Proverbs, we must pay attention and listen to Wisdom and do what we know is right. And we must steer clear of Folly’s schemes and avoid being tricked by her deception.
I encourage you to read through the book of Proverbs. It is rich in wisdom and instruction and helps you recognize and discern folly more clearly.
Father, please help us to take the time and listen to the truth of Your wisdom and say no to folly, no matter how strong the temptation. We want to do right by You and inherit Your love and favor.
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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