A Wise Man
Category : General
Proverbs 28: 26 (KJV)
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
The character of a fool: He trusts to his own heart, to his own wisdom and counsels, his own strength and sufficiency, his own merit and righteousness, and the good opinion he has of himself; he that does so is a fool, for he trusts to that, not only which is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9), but which has often deceived him—Matthew Henry.
Since the thoughts and imaginations of the thoughts of the heart are only evil, and that continually; they are vain and vague, sinful and corrupt; the affections are inordinate, the conscience defiled, the understanding darkened, and the will perverse. There is no good thing in it, nor any that comes out of it, but all the reverse; it is deceitful and desperately wicked: he must be a fool, and not know the plague of his heart, that trusts in it; and even for a good man to be self-confident, and trust to the sincerity of his heart, as Peter did, or to the good frame of the heart, as many do, is acting a foolish part. Moreover, such are fools as the Scribes and Pharisees, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others, when a man’s best righteousness is impure and imperfect, and cannot justify him in the sight of God. This is a weak and foolish part in men to trust to the wisdom and counsel of their heart, to lean to their own understanding, even it, things natural and civil, and not to ask wisdom of God, or take the advice of men, and especially it, things religious and sacred
This maxim is justified by the description which Jeremiah gives: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” For if it be indeed such as it is there represented, assuredly the heart cannot be trustworthy. And that the prophet’s description is but too correct must appear abundantly evident to all who have ever sincerely and seriously engaged in the difficult task of self-examination. The difficulty of the task proves how full the heart which is the subject of it must be of treachery and of secret vice. Whosoever trusts his own heart as his light, adviser, and guide, in the complex ways and acting of life, is a fool. Half the wisdom of the wise is in the choice of their advisers. Wise men discern wisdom in others, and call them to council; the wisest man is he who least trusts himself alone. He knows the difficulties of life and its intricacies, and gathers all the lights he can and casts them upon his own case. He must in the end act on his own responsibility; but he seeks all counsellors, the experienced and impartial, sometimes the opposed and unfriendly, that he may be aware on all sides; for “in the multitude of counsellors is safety. The greatest security against deceiving ourselves by trusting our own hearts is a careful information of conscience and the one who follows the directions of them; who walks as he has Christ for his pattern and example, and makes the Spirit of God his guide, and walks after him, and not after the flesh; who walks with wise men, and takes their advice in all matters of moment, not trusting to his own wisdom and knowledge; who walks as becomes the Gospel of Christ, and in all the ordinances of it; who walks inoffensively to all men, and so in wisdom towards them that are without, and in love to them who are within; who walks circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time.
Have a great and God filled day!