Solomon states that his purpose in amassing proverbs and putting them into Proverbs is this: “To give prudence to the naive; to the youth knowledge and discretion,” (Proverbs 1:4). Why? Because otherwise, the naive and the young end up fools.
Fools in Proverbs are not those who fall for their friend’s fake pregnancy announcement. Fools are not those who are trying hard to order ThinkGeek.com’s NerfNuke.
Fools are those who have no moral value, no moral compass at all. Fools are those who live life centered only their wants and desires, their own path even if it tramples every living thing around them.
There is a difference, though, in the fool and the naive. Between the fool and the young person. Young people, naive people, they make mistakes because they do not know any better. It is not that a 12-year-old is a fool in their decisions. It is that whoever turned them loose to make life-destructive decisions was a fool.
This is why it is important that we grow in wisdom, and never stop growing in it. There are those around us who need to see wisdom in action, and as the world progresses, the application of timeless truth needs reworked and strengthened.
The wisdom of following God has not changed, but the implementation matures. Fifty years ago, there was no need for wise, Christ-honoring use of the Internet. There was no Internet.
How do we grow in this? We admit we are naive, or that the situation is young, and we return to the Word of God for wisdom.
Because one thing about Proverbs: the contrast between fool and wise is clear, and the fool has nothing but trouble for a long, long time.