How To Avoid Being A Fool

Colton Curry, Partnerships and Development Director, Compassion and Justice | April 17, 2024

Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:2 

One of the hardest but best lessons I have learned from Willow’s Global Partners is that I know so much less than I think I do. One particular trip to our partner in El Salvador taught me so much. It was my first trip in my role as the partnerships director at Willow, and I believed I had a solid foundation and understanding of community development and mission. I also have a small background in home renovation and construction. As it turns out, I was a bit of a fool on both counts. 

My first moment of foolishness was believing I knew how to do concrete work. We spent one morning working alongside our partner, a local church, and the eventual homeowner of a new home being constructed. A concrete floor needed to be installed on top of the established dirt floor, which provided numerous health and welfare benefits to the family. When we arrived on site, I expected to see the familiar bags of Quikrete concrete and something like a wheelbarrow to mix it in. Instead, there were only piles of sand, rock, bags of lime, and a couple of buckets. I was clueless. 

A local church leader showed me how to masterfully mix a specific ratio of each element on the ground with water to create the perfect consistency of concrete for flooring. I watched, listened, and did as he did. Similarly, I watched, listened, and learned from the local pastor of that community, who heard a message from God about how God would transform the community. She obediently followed that calling. On what used to be a hill filled with rocks and coffee plants now sits a beautiful church that serves vulnerable children and empowers families out of extreme poverty. This local pastor not only understands community development better than I do, but she sacrificed, lived, and prayed into being one of the best examples of it that I’ve encountered. All I had to do was watch, listen, and do as she did. 

How do you avoid being a fool like me? Watch, listen, and learn from those around you. Approach every person you encounter with curiosity and respect, acknowledging how the Image of God uniquely gifts every person with different skills, talents, and ways of being in the world. If you want to be a leader, you need to listen first. You never know how God might teach you and prepare you through the people you encounter. 

Next Steps

  • When was the last time you had a similar experience of being overly confident and then being humbled?
  • How might God be challenging you through this devotional? Take time to jot down a few names of people God is putting on your heart to watch, listen to, and learn from. 
  • Pray for our Global Partners as they continue to teach us new ways of sharing the never-changing Gospel in an ever-changing world.