I’d like to use our coming and going to capture your imagination. In your going and coming, picture two houses.
As you go by one house, there’s a lady sitting on her porch. As you walk by, you remember her invitations from when you were a child. As you were growing up, your parents told you to keep on walking by this house. Some of your friends had already been there. They seemed to know so much more about the world. So one day you went in. There, you were told to question everything, almost everything. She introduced you to some new friends that really weren’t good for you. Seemed like you got in more trouble after you accepted this woman’s invitation. Her refreshments at first tasted OK. As you kept coming back you couldn’t quit drinking “the Kool-Aid.”
In your coming and going, you recognize another house. This house sits on a hill. It’s a very large house and there are lots of people going in and out. You remember walking by this house, don’t you? Your parents said this house was a good house. When you walked by as a kid, you saw some of your friends playing in the front yard and their parents were there, but you didn’t feel like joining in. There was a lady on the porch of this house as well. She was dressed nicely and seemed nice — but not like the other woman. The lady at this house invited you to come into her house as well. She had refreshments as well, but she wanted to teach you manners. She said there were things that would make you rich and smart, but you had to listen and learn. She wasn’t as fun as the other lady, but you knew she was right.
You made a decision in your life as to what house you would frequent most often. Do you remember which house had more influence?
You have children today who walk by those same houses. One woman’s house will lead to decisions that will hurt your child’s future. The other woman’s house will help your child learn to make good decisions that honor God and bring happiness and joy to their lives.
What are the two houses in Patterson? One house is the House of the Folly. The Bible has a few different words for “folly,” but generally it means “foolish — stupid”. Not a kind word, but in this case, correctly translated. The other house is the House of Wisdom. I would suggest the woman of this house is the Spirit of God, who desires to help all to understand God’s way and follow his Word. “Then we will find Wisdom. From His mouth comes understanding and knowledge.”
This is so true in every aspect of life today.
Those two houses are still in Patterson. Which house will you continue to walk by? Who will you continue to listen to? Isn’t it time we listen to God’s wisdom instead of “foolish” folly?
The Rev. Scott K. Van Bibber is pastor of New Hope Church of the Nazarene. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.