The book of Proverbs talks a lot about fools, foolishness, and folly. You’ll hear those words a lot as you go through this book. When a fool does something foolish, and then returns to his foolish ways over and over rather than learning from them…that’s folly! That’s foolishness! Our verse today talks about this.
Proverbs 26:11 says, “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” This verse is kind of gross. That’s some gross imagery. This is also why I don’t have a dog. I think they’re gross. I don’t want to have to clean up after them, and sometimes they smell kind of gross. I’m not trying to put down dogs or dog lovers, I just don’t enjoy them.
When fools do foolish things, there are natural consequences that are unpleasant and unwelcome. But fools return to these things continually. Why would you do that? Just like a dog returning to its vomit…why? Why would you do that?
Why do we continue to sin over and over? I’ve been going through a book called The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, and he says that it’s often because we’re more focused on victory than we are on obedience. Victory is focused on me, while obedience is focused on God. God hates sin, and all sin is against God. So for us to go back to our sin, even when we know it’s wrong, that’s like us returning to eat our own vomit. That’s not good.
God is holy, and he deserves our holiness. As people of God, if we’re choosing to walk with God, then we need to turn away from our sin. We will always make mistakes, but it’s important that we learn from it, and then turn from it. We need to repent and turn away from our sin and towards God.
As parents, we can sometimes feel like hypocrites when we tell our kids over and over not to make the same mistakes that we did. It’s like, “Well, I did that, so can I really tell you not to?” But actually, I think that’s wise. We know that what we did was a mistake, and we’re trying to help our kids learn from it without making the same mistake themselves. That’s wisdom. Don’t be afraid to speak up and speak truth when you know something is wrong.
Let’s read our verse one more time. Proverbs 26:11 – “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” Gross. Instead of doing that, let’s get wisdom.
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