Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
Have you ever “Liked” and “Shared” a news story on your social media only to find out later that it was inaccurate or actually never happened? Perhaps you see a tasty headline (known as “click bait”) that seems to support a deeply held opinion of yours and so you immediately pass it along to your friends list…without reading it or checking to see if it’s actually true. I’ve actually done this on my radio show, and much to my chagrin, a day or two later had to admit that what I shared wasn’t actually true.
It seems we can all be simpletons from time to time.
The Bible calls Christians to a life of prudence and self-control. Followers of Christ should be known for their measured responses, as well as their careful response time. As a standard practice, we should be slow to anger, slow to speak, and quick to listen (Jas. 1:19). It should be normal for a Christian to stop and consider the cost of his actions or words or social media posts before he “goes off to war” over an important issue (Lk. 14:31). A Christian should be sober-minded enough to know that every opinion or “spirit” needs to be tested against God’s Truth (1 Jn. 4:1).
On a more personal level, gossip is another arena in which we too easily believe what we have been told about someone else – which should alarm us about our own depravity – and then eagerly pass it along as if it were a known fact. A prudent person…a person after God’s own heart…will “carefully consider their steps” before taking the next one with their words, either spoken or written or posted.
As children we were taught to “look both ways before you cross the street” and probably warned “don’t believe everything you hear.” The warnings we all heard when we were kids are still tried and true today…and as we have seen in this Proverb, backed up by the Word of God itself. We would do well to heed them.