I’m continuing to read Proverbs. I love the fact that it’s not a story, but rather can be considered a mash up of several stand alone statements. The interesting thing is so many of the statements are not mindblowing, shocking, surprising spiritual truths. These verses are common sense statements that point out human nature. However, there was one verse that stopped me.
Proverbs 19:2 states, “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.” I began to think about my personality and the personality of many others. I find it very easy to get excited about things. I can throw myself completely into some new style, hobby, or television show. When I get excited about something, I’m totally in.
Excitement — or zeal — is contagious. It is easy to throw yourself behind a product, politician, or philosophy because there is excitement associated with it. Some of us — myself included — have personalities that are attracted to this type of zeal. It makes us feel vibrant and purposeful. There is nothing wrong with zeal or excitement. However, the real problem is when we get so caught up in that excitement that we are quickly swept away into the emotion without doing our research.
When we are persuaded by the emotions of others, we can easily be misled. We can totally adopt the philosophy of those excitement generators rather than deciding for ourselves. This leads to potential for disaster. We must be vigilant to think for ourselves. We must resist the temptation to rush to judgment and make snap decisions. Instead, we must be willing to hear the words of others but then research and think on our own to formulate our own opinions. We must not be quick to come to conclusions, but rather thoughtful and patient with ourselves.