Nearly everyone I know has a guilty pleasure. Be it hours of Soap Operas, hoards of chocolate or an undying devotion to Cross Fit, quite possibly every Believer has a habit, object or show they just can’t seem to live without. While I wish my guilty pleasure were more of the latter of my examples, mine consists of watching America’s Next Top Model (ANTM).
I’m not quite sure why I’m drawn to this show so much. It could be the creative and challenging tasks they must complete. It could be the amazing stories that come out of each contestant. It could even be that, deep down, I know I missed my calling as a Cover Girl model.
More than likely, however, I believe I’m drawn to the show because of the drama. Every episode, we see a collision of personalities; a showdown between cat-walkin’, eye-linin’, hair-flippin’ “adult” women. Many times it’s the nice girl versus the mean girl – a fight between good and bad, adding more intrigue.
Much like an episode of ANTM, we see the development of two key hypothetical women in the Bible. One is a kind, knowledgeable, compassionate lady; her name is Wisdom. The second woman is prideful, loud and sneaky; her name is Folly. We see them and their battle best described throughout Proverbs.
First, we meet Wisdom. Her story, as Proverbs 8:23 tells us, began even before men were created. God fashioned her before the world, and she dwelt within each creation that the Lord willed. She delighted in creation and day-by-day became more joyful in God’s presence (Prov. 8:30-31). Wisdom seeks knowledge, reaches for the lost and fears the Lord. She’s a lady through and through.
Then, of course, we have Folly. She has been around, ironically, since a little before the fall of man. She won one of many battles as she convinced Eve to take a bite of the forbidden fruit. She’s been after mankind since the beginning and often times succeeded. Her job is much easier than Wisdom’s, as she strives to get man to cave into himself. She’s a very real force of deception.
As these two women race to become the model of humanity, we examine three key tasks that these women have in common. While the tasks are the same, you’ll find their tactics are rather opposite.
1. They both reach out to the simple-minded. First, we see Folly caressing the ego of the simple-minded in Proverbs 9:16-17. “Come,” She says, “let us see what we can do in secret.” She knows the simple-minded and their shortcomings, because at her core, she is no more than them. She thrives off of the simple-minded person’s foolery. Their downfalls are her drug – her unwavering addiction.
Proverbs 9:4 shows Wisdom calling to the simple-minded. She beckons them to learn and to gain knowledge. Her joy is in releasing chains of ignorance and weaving threads of discernment. She even stands at every city entrance in attempt to collect and instruct the unwise (Prov. 8:2-6), while Folly remains stationary as she traps those walking by (Prov. 9:14-15).
2. They both speak openly. Wisdom speaks openly throughout all of scripture. She calls to every patriarch and matriarch at their times of desperation, decision and crossroad.
With Folly, we see the same thing. We can see where Folly ensnared Abraham to sleep with his wife’s maidservant. We can see where Wisdom instructed Rahab to assist the Hebrew spies.
Folly appears to direct Judas as he betrays the Lord. Wisdom so obviously leads Paul to take up writing. They both speak openly and their results are staggering.
3. They both know God. Wisdom was created and grown by God. She seeks Him and knows Him. Wisdom submits to God as she is a mere tool in His hand.
Folly, likewise, knows God but only as an enemy. She knows, in the end, she will not abide in eternity. She, therefore, takes all she can down with her.
It’s easy to see which woman would be ideal for us as believers to choose as our model for life. Proverbs 1:31 tells us that we will “eat the fruit of our ways.” What are your ways today? Do you place Wisdom or Folly as your model?
I encourage you, as the New Year approaches, to examine your ways; examine who you are in your decisions every day. Search scripture for Wisdom’s advice and steer clear of Folly’s traps.