Proverbs 10:6-8

Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the speech of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the reputation of the wicked will rot.
The wise person accepts instructions,
but the one who speaks foolishness will come to ruin.

I am not a big fan of “The Princess Bride.” Even just writing those words may cause you to question my judgement. That’s okay, I don’t judge you for liking it. Not that much anyway. The reason is pretty simple. I didn’t watch it until a long time after it had become immortalized. Everyone I talked to about the movie told me just how great the movie was. When I finally watched the movie, I was expecting to be caught in a roar of hilariousness for the entire length of the show. There were a few funny parts, but it was a huge disappointment. I didn’t roar at all. I chuckled a time or two, but beyond that it just wasn’t all that funny. I recognized that some of you have stopped listening to me because of the heresy you believe I am speaking. That’s okay, we’ll catch up later.

What happened was, it had been so over-hyped to me that there was no way it could actually live up to its reputation. If I had seen the movie when it first came out my opinion might be different.

I’m guessing that we all have had encounters with people who lived so righteously that it’s like they actually burned their impression on your soul. There is just something about them that connects with us on a deeper level. And when someone gets planted deep in your soul like that, it’s hard to forget them. I think this is one of the reasons we attach ourselves to spiritual leaders. It’s because of them that we make changes in our lives. And because of that and the depth at which they connect with us, our memory of them is a blessing to us.

I think that’s a part of what we hear in one of todays proverbs. We hear of someone who’s reputation is so great that it’s a blessing to all who hear it. And its as if their reputation actually gets better and better over time to the point that they are almost immortal. They get talked up so much that it would actually be impossible for them to live up to their own reputation.

However, the opposite is true with the wicked. Just like my memory of “The Princess Bride” gets worse and worse over time, the reputation of the wicked just continues to deteriorate. It’s like the rotting pumpkin on your porch (I hope you’ve taken care of it by now…). The longer it sits there, the uglier and stinkier it gets. It also gets harder and harder to clean it up.

So, a word to the wise – be the wise person. People will talk about you when you’re not around. Be wise so they are saying good things.

What is a wise person? Well in part, a wise person accepts instructions. If you are willing to let someone else tell you how to do something, you will be wise. When you always have the answers you never grow in your understanding. It’s through listening to others’ advice that we really start to become wise. The fool is the guy who knows everything already. The fool is the one who doesn’t allow others to teach him. When the fool speaks, he tries to sound smart but he is only covering up his foolishness with his speech.

The wise person accepts instructions. Stop talking. Allow others to give you their advice. Don’t just try to figure it all out on your own. That’s a very small-minded way of thinking. Allow the wisdom of the masses to be available to you. If you do that, you will be blessed. If you do that, your reputation will precede you.

Your reputation precedes you.