The Complexities of Simplemindedness.
“I was looking out the window of my house one day and saw a simpleminded young man who lacked common sense.” – Proverbs 7:6-7 NLT
The character described in this Proverb is a familiar one. We can all think of someone just like him. Naive and simple, unaware of the danger that lurks around him, highly gullible and easily tempted to give in to the temptations of life. He’s like the character you watch in a movie that is about to open a door, behind which lurks certain death, but he is oblivious that any danger exists. You want to scream at the TV, warning him to run. You wonder how he could be so unaware of what is really going on, when you see it so clearly.
But if the truth were known, there are times in every day where we take on the same characteristics. We become simpleminded. Open-minded. Naive. Gullible. The word used by Solomon to describe this young man is from a root word that means “spacious, open, wide.” You might say it means “empty-headed” – someone lacking in sense, or to use a more up-to-date term, an airhead. He is easily enticed into danger, because he is oblivious to the danger surrounding him. He lacks the discernment to see that what looks so tempting and enticing is really deadly. Like a fish drawn to a tempting lure, this young man is drawn to the seductive appeal of a woman. She paints a highly attractive picture of the pleasure he can have if he will only give in to her message. Everything sounds so attractive. She appeals to his senses. She takes advantage of his unbridled sexual drive. She calls to his base, animal instincts. She is an expert at what she does. She knows exactly how to get to this young man. But her offer is all pleasure with no pain. Like Satan, she only presents the promise of satisfaction and enjoyment. She fails to give the young man the bad news. But Solomon knows the other side to this story. “He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life” (Proverbs 7:22-23 NLT). This was not going to turn out well. Sin seldom does. The lies of the enemy never deliver what they promise. They disappoint and destroy. They damage lives, reputations, and relationships. They leave behind a wake of regrets, guilt, and shame. They harden the heart and soften the resolve of men so that it becomes increasingly harder to say no the next time.
So Solomon calls out. He cries out. He warns this young man and generations of other men to come, that this danger is a reality. It is out there for all of us. We face it every day of our lives. And it is so easy to approach life in the same simpleminded manner. We reject the warnings of Scripture. We ignore the reality of an enemy who is out to destroy us. We think we can handle the temptations of life on our own. We listen to the seductive calls of the enemy and the world, hearing only what we want to hear – the tempting offers of pleasure with no pain, satisfaction at no cost. And in the end, we pay the price. Simplemindedness is costly and wisdom is the cure. The wisdom that God offers through His Word. Discernment comes from one source – God. And He makes it available to each and every one of us through the pages of the Bible.
Father, drive me to Your Word so that I am not so easily driven by my desires. Give me discernment so that I am not so easily susceptible to the temptations of life. Help me reject the life of the simpleminded and live the life of the wise. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men