I’m glad we didn’t have YouTube when I was a teenager.
Truly, I am. I’m 42 (at the time of writing this), and YouTube didn’t exist when I was a teenager. There were no cell phones videoing the dumb things we did. There was no “going viral” because of the awkwardness of adolescence.
If we wanted to gossip about someone, we just told a friend something or wrote a note (by hand!).
No texting, no video, no audio recordings…it was the stone age by comparison to today.
The folly of my teenage years was not broadcast for the entire world to behold.
Today, we must instruct our teenagers of the permanency of YouTube and digital imagery and video. Our digital footprint might just last forever somewhere and we must be careful.
We must help them today learn to separate wisdom from folly very quickly.
Perhaps Solomon’s mother and father were just as concerned with young King Solomon because one day he would have to rule. Proverbs 9 shows two feasts: one offered by wisdom and one offered by folly.
In Proverbs 9:13-18, we see the temptation of folly’s feast.
13 Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.Proverbs 9:13-18
New International Version
Folly is the result of an undisciplined and unseasoned life. It some ways, foolishness looks dumb. One could look at a foolish person and think they are unintelligent. As my dad would say, “They don’t have the good sense God gave a goose to come in out of the rain.”
But to the person engaging in folly, they are swept up in what seems right to them. Foolishness temps us with shortcuts and seductiveness. The foolish are convinced their folly doesn’t hurt anyone because it’s done in secret.
But whether their folly is ever discovered publicly or not, the damage is already done! Those who make their house on a ranch of folly will soon discover it is a house of death.
How do we plan to avoid the temptation to engage in an undisciplined and unseasoned life? How can we avoid the seemingly irresistible call of folly?
I’m no expert, but it seems there are hints in the warning of these verses.
First, if the choice is based on impulsiveness and sinful behaviors, that’s probably folly.
Second, if the decision brings embarrassment to ourselves, our family, or those around us, it’s probably folly.
Last, if the deed can only be done under the protective cloak of secret and shadow, it may be folly.
And foolishness will only lead to our downfall.
I’m certainly glad we didn’t have YouTube back in my day. But the foolishness of living in sinful ways always has a way of becoming public. We wear it like a scarlet letter on our lives.
As children of the King, we can do better. We are empowered to do better!
We are given a choice of wisdom and folly. See the warning of foolishness’ way. Choose wisdom.