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How Long?

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?” (Proverb 1:22a)

In this verse, David does something interesting. He identifies a personal quality (“simplicity” – silliness, foolishness, being EASILY SEDUCIBLE [presumably by satan’s lies]) but, first, he labels the people who live by this trait with the VERY SAME WORD.

In other words, however we choose to behave habitually makes us into that. We take on the identity of that behavior which we entertain and that identity has a “script” that satan provides that tends to keep us in whatever identity we take on.

As I read that this morning and meditated on that I sensed the Lord was telling me that there seem to be an endless stream of other hurtful alternatives to “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?”

The writer could have just as easily written any of the following:

“How long, you angry ones, will you love being angry?

“How long, you victimized ones, will you love victimhood?

“How long, you bitter ones, will you love bitterness and


“How long, you abusive ones, will you love doling out abuse?

“How long, you helpless ones, will you love being helpless?

“How long, you rebellious ones, will you love rebellion?

“How long, you profane ones, will you love profanity?

“How long, you perverse ones, will you love perversity?

“How long, you promiscuous ones (male and female), will you love promiscuity?

“How long, you dishonest ones, will you love dishonesty?

“How long, you prideful ones, will you love pride?

Satan offers up an endless stream of varieties of sin. He does that to hurt us because he hates us. We allow him to make fools out of us by practicing things that hurt us as humans.

How long will we allow that?

We will allow that until we stop loving it.

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?” (Proverb 1:22a)

The word “love” in that verse means “to have affection for; to consider it to be one’s friend.”

Once, a despairing wife cried out to me and asked, “Why does he keep getting drunk?” I sighed to myself because I hated that what I was about to say was true and replied, “Because drunkenness is his friend.” Her gut-level response was heartbreaking: “But I want to be his friend!!!”

In much the same way, God wants to be our friend, but we choose whatever we love over Him.

Lost people have no alternative. They are, as Paul told us about the condition of those without Jesus (Ephesians 2:12) without hope. However, I am writing this to Christians. We have the Lord. The Holy Spirit makes His home deep within us. HE empowers us to repent.

We DO have an alternative:

“Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE. AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31)

One of the men who taught me said that if we cast down one thing we must replace it with another, godly thing or the enemy will happily replace it for us with something sinful and, therefore, hurtful.

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?” (Proverb 1:22a)

Eventually, whatever hurtful thing we love will turn on us and begin to feed on us. Instead of gaining us whatever we practice it to get, it will take, take, take from us until it uses us up.

Let’s choose to stop loving whatever that is now…before it drains

us of all life.

We can cast down whatever it is we love that hurts us (drugs, anger, bitterness, etc.) and replace it with loving the LORD instead. We can cast down our identities that follow the lead of sinful things and behaviors and replace them with what Paul called “lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4)

When we choose to love the Lord, we WILL love our neighbors AND ourselves, having been instrumental in giving ourselves something good instead of what was killing us.

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?” (Proverb 1:22a)

David had hope, when he wrote that. Built into his question is the hope that the “simple ones” would not choose to remain simple.

I share that hope…for myself…and for you.

Let’s choose wisely. Let’s choose the LORD.

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, TX

© November 1, 2019

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