The Easy Way or The Hard Way
Posted on October 22, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Victory Call
How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple minded? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. – Proverbs 1:22-23
A wise person once said, “There are three ways to learn – through instruction, by example, or more painfully, through experience.”
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, chose the hard way! His discovery was so difficult and distressing that in writing the book of Ecclesiastes, he used a pseudonym, The Preacher, instead of his own name, Shelomoh, meaning “peace”.
In becoming the world’s wisest man, The Preacher found that all human experiences in and of themselves were worthless. Concerning human wisdom, he wrote, “There is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain” (1:18). Of everything else, it was all “striving after the wind, and there was no profit under the sun” (2:11). “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!” (1:1) exclaimed The Preacher.
A less painful experience would be to learn from the example of The Preacher and others who have gone before us. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved” (I Corinthians 10:6). However, there is an even better way that requires no pain. That way is simply to LISTEN.
After Solomon’s painful experience of learning the hard way, he compiled the wise sayings of the sages, including his own, in the book of Proverbs. In this book, however, he used his own name, Shelomoh. Recording these words of wisdom to his son, he described the way of peace to those who would listen. Wisdom is personified and shouts to those who pass by, “Come. LISTEN to Me!” (Proverbs 1:20, 9:3-5).
“If you LISTEN,” Shelomoh tells his son, “you will be happy (3:18). If you LISTEN you will have long life (3:2), you will find true wealth and honor (3:16), you will find God’s favor (8:35). If you LISTEN, you will find peace. (3:2).”
The Preacher learned the hard way. “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd…” (Ecclesiastes 12:11) Shelomoh taught his son the easy way. “LISTEN” to the Shepherd, Wisdom Himself, and He pour out His Spirit and make known His words to you.
Which will you choose: The easy way or the hard way?
Written by Kim Olachea Kim Olachea served as a pastor’s wife for 35 years in NC, GA, and NJ. In 2018, she and her husband transitioned from local church ministry to serve full time with DisciplePath. Kim is an entrepreneur and the owner of Online Bookkeeping Solutions. She is a speaker, writer, and founder of ProverbWise and Pastors’ Wives, EveryDay Lives. She and her husband, Dr. Joe Olachea, lead teaching tours to Israel and Greece, with a unique emphasis on discipleship. Kim enjoys writing, reading, playing the piano, walking, and a few good days at the beach. Her most fulfilling roles include being wife of Joe, mom to five adult children, and grandma to seven adorable, nearly perfect grandchildren. Joe and Kim are loving life in New Bern, NC.
Think About This: “but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” – Proverbs 1:33
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:25-26
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.