“Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” (Proverbs 14:7-8, NIV)
I honestly have no idea how many times I’ve heard the phrase “Even broken clocks are right twice a day.” Growing up I heard it all the time as an idiom to remember to value everyone because you never quite know when they could be right. With that being my frame of reference I found that I had no real standard to measure good advice against bad against just plain crazy. So let me just say this, paying attention to broken clocks is absurd.
If you are the kind of person who pays attention to the time, the idea of keeping a broken clock around just because twice a day it’s right is like keeping a car because it starts one out of every 670 tries. That’s right, if a clock is suppose to tell you the hour and minute, a broken clock will be correct twice a day when it should be correct 1440 times a day. That, friends, is a success rate of .00139%. Or in other words, not successful at all.
In the ever-placating world of “everyone is entitled to an opinion” we have forgotten that even though everyone can have an opinion not every one of those opinions needs to be given equal weight. And more than that we have confused the concept of giving weight to a person’s opinion with valuing them as a person. We all know people who have a hard time making decisions because they would rather have a consensus and they are just waiting for the dissenters to chime in.
In Proverbs 14, King Solomon gives a lot of advice concerning fools and why escaping their company quickly is a wise move. Note that he never devalues them as a person made in the image of God, he simply realizes that their lack of competency cannot be made up for by their company.
This is hard for many of us because we are “people pleasers.” We want the people around us to feel loved and valued and happy. However when the idea of pleasing the masses means we are losing the ground we stand on, we are devaluing our own beliefs as well. When we give equal weight to every opinion, we truly value none of them, nor are we allowing ourselves to stand steadfast in what we believe whether it’s about our friends, our families, our church or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am not nor would I ever advocate for indigence in regards to the voice of others. But, when it comes to those around you who speak clarity and truth into your life, separating the fools from the wise isn’t simply prudent it’s necessary. And what is so great about the God we serve is He gave us His word to test against those ever present voices, longing for our attention.
Not to mention, if you have those broken clocks you’ve been hanging on to in hopes of giving value to them once again, we serve a Master Builder who can not only restore their value but also restore their purpose; telling the truth more than twice a day.
Ali can be reached via email here.