If you’ve ever heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the topic of prevention shouldn’t come as a surprise when it comes to health. We each could prevent so many unfortunate circumstances in our lives if only we’d focus on staying on course rather than making course corrections once we find ourselves in the thicket verses on the right path.
Sounds simple! Unfortunately, we usually don’t end up with the wisdom that helps us take appropriate precautions in any given situation until we’ve experienced what we’d have liked to avoid.
The key is to prevent so we don’t need to persevere any more than what’s really necessary?
Avoid Stupid Mistakes. Any mistake that could have been prevented is a stupid mistake. In a primal community where men hunted for food, a broken ankle that resulted from slipping on a wet rock could wipe out an entire family. After all, a guy with a broken ankle likely isn’t as efficient a hunter as a guy whose physically healthy. The broken ankle could cause a drastic decline in incoming nutrition. If the break included a bone protruding through the skin, that’s even worse… infection anyone? The only thing worse than an injured hunter is a dead one.
In the modern world, broken bones aren’t usually deadly, but the concept of avoiding stupid mistakes is the same.
A mistake is to make a bad choice, to misunderstand or make a wrong judgement, or to identify something incorrectly, according to Merriam-Webster. In order to not make mistakes, we need to do the opposite:
- Make good choices
- Understand and make correct judgements
- Identify things correctly
Avoid poisonous things. Have you ever had an encounter with poison ivy? If you’re pondering whether you have or not, the answer is no! If you’ve ever gotten into poison ivy, boy do you know it! It’s horrible!
A poison is anything that hurts or damages you. The primal concept to avoid poisonous things is simple. Poisons hurt us, so stay away from them!
One of the worst things about poison ivy, is that for people who aren’t keenly familiar with it, the leaf pattern looks a lot like a variety of berry bush leaves. It can easily be mistaken for something like a berry bush when it’s on the ground.
And plants out to get us aren’t the end of the story. From foods, chemicals, etc., anything that harms us is a poison.
Mistakes and poisons, along with many other do’s and don’ts in life, can both be found on the spectrum between wisdom and foolishness.
Proverbs 4:7, Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Wisdom is priceless. How do we learn to make good choices, understand and judge things correctly and identify things for what they really are? Step one like this proverb says, is to realize we need more wisdom. Where does wisdom come from? Fear of the Lord.
Often we don’t even realize we’ve made a mistake, and poisons can masquerade as harmless, or even beneficial. This is exactly how we’re taken out by a myriad of different evils in real life—just like the wolf in sheep’s clothing—evil pretends to be good. It’s such a threat because we may not recognize it or even realize we’ve given in to it. Whether it’s a friend whose really not, a berry bush that’s really not, or a food that’s capable of killing us, we often don’t identify sin for what it is in time to avoid it. The opposite of foolishness is just that, gaining wisdom so we’re able to identify, and ultimately avoid, evil.
We’re back to where we started. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whether the goal is to avoid a broken ankle, or do what’s right in the Lord’s eyes, the point is we need to gain wisdom and understanding concerning all facets of life so we’re better able to avoid mistakes we’ve made in the past, and can stop ourselves from consuming poison and from becoming a poison ourselves in the future. As practical as it is to avoid rolling in poison ivy, it’s just as important to acknowledge the spiritual benefits of gaining wisdom and turning from our sin.
The Beginning of Wisdom = Fear of God