Wise Choices (Proverbs 9:12)

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

Proverbs 9:12

There is something that I am wont to miss; something I tend to forget. Specifically, I find myself forgetting that my wise and foolish decisions ultimately come home to me.

This is not to say that my actions will not impact others. They often do. I have made foolish choices in my past and both I and others have had to live with the consequences. If I make foolish parenting choices, then my daughter and I must both deal with the consequences. If I make poor choices about how I conduct myself as a husband, then my wife shares in enduring the consequences with me. As a friend, a brother, a son, an employee — as any of the roles I fill in my life, folly impacts others. However, the only one consistently affected by a foolish lifestyle would be me. Likewise, the only one consistently affected by a wise lifestyle would be me. And that, I think, is what Solomon is getting at.

People will come and go in my life — even those who love me best — but I spend every moment of every day of my life with me. With that in mind, I cannot get away from the consequences of my choices. If I make wise choices, then it is likely I will not want to avoid the consequences of my choices. If I make foolish choices, then it is likely I will want to avoid those consequences.

What sort of choices am I making? This should be one of the persistent questions in my mind. If am wise, I am wise for myself. If foolish, then I alone will bear the totality of that folly.

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