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No More April Fools

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No More April Fools - April 04, 2006

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." Proverbs 1:7

This month of April Fools Day is a good time to reflect on whether we are being foolish or wise and disciplined.

Youth is when most of us exhibit some foolish behavior and tend to despise discipline. Foolishness among inexperienced young people is to be expected. But sooner or later we have to decide to put aside foolish things and discipline ourselves to seek wisdom and knowledge.

I remember being rather undisciplined when I started high school. I spent a lot of time goofing off. I was the kind of person who had to apply himself to get good grades and I didn't apply! I just did the minimum for a passing grade. In fact, my Latin teacher told me she would pass me with a grade of D if I promised never to take the class again.

My father refused to pay tuition for me to go to Christian High the next year, saying I could goof off in a public school where he didn't have to pay. I was miserable at the public school, and for the first time, awoke to the fact that I had lost a lot by 'just goofing off'. I was so miserable that I went to my Dad and said, "I'm going back to Christian High, and I'll earn my own tuition!" So back I went. I became a more serious student and began to pull down much better grades. And, seeing I meant what I'd said, my Dad decided to pay my tuition once again.

Foolishness has serious consequences. My high school experience was a lesson in the positive consequences of discipline and the rewards of seeking knowledge. I also learned that true wisdom is the result of deliberate choices we make. Many people foolishly make the same mistakes. If we want to become wise, we must make a conscious, deliberate decision to learn from our mistakes and never repeat them. We also must learn from our successes and the successes of others. Wisdom must be won by hard effort.

And, most importantly, if we want to be wise, we must go to the source of all wisdom: God himself. You can draw wisdom directly from God through Bible study and prayer. Desire wisdom, seek wisdom, and pursue wisdom, and go to God in prayer, asking for the wisdom to live an effective, successful, godly life.

You can overcome the foolishness of youth at any age. Make a conscious decision. Be wise! Go to the source and ask for wisdom, and God will supply your need.

Rich DeVos is the former chairman of Gospel Communications. He is also the author of "Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons for Life," co-founder of Amway Corp., and owner and chairman of the NBA's Orlando Magic.
 

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