Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12)
A child sitting on a stool in the corner of a one room school house with a dunce cap on his head: this is the image that will forever come to mind when I hear the word dumb. It might actually be one of the better ways to picture the truth conveyed in Proverbs 26:12. It symbolizes a “smart alec” kid who is being punished. In his trickery he is made to play the fool.
This might be somewhat of a paradox. In order to be wise we have to see ourselves as something less than wise. However, the point – I believe – is not self abasement. The point is humility. If we place the highest value on our own opinion we are sure to make foolish decisions. When, in our wisdom, we spurn the advice of others we are too dumb to know how foolish we really are.
The collection of Proverbs in the Bible teaches us to treasure godly counsel. The Proverbs teach us that the way of a fool is right in the fool’s own eyes (Prov. 12:15). In other words, when a fool acts foolishly it is – to him – the most right course of action. His folly blinds him to his foolishness. In the end the fool is too dumb to know any different. Beware less you fall captive to the same predicament. Whose wisdom are you leaning on today?