Don’t Be Wise In Your Own Eyes

phone techDuring my years with Southwestern Bell Telephone in Dallas, I was blessed to work for a man that became my good friend, Marlin Sams. He was a fair and thoughtful boss and always had a story to tell.

One such story that he told on himself was about a trip to the dentist. Marlin lived in Dallas, but his dentist was in Malakoff, TX, which is approximately 1 ½ hours southeast of Dallas.

His dentist was an elderly gentleman that he had been a client of all his life. Dentists are like mechanics; if you have one you trust, you don’t want to change.

This particular time, Marlin had a tooth that kept getting worse and as we all do, he put off the visit as long as he could. By the time he finally decided to get it taken care of he was in excruciating pain.


On examination of the tooth, the doctor said that it most definitely had to be removed. But the problem was that it was abscessed and the infection would have to be cleared so he could administer Novocain.

Well, Marlin, not being a man that wasted time said, “I want you to pull it now. I’m not making another trip down here.” To which the wise doctor said, “You don’t understand, I can’t pull the tooth because I can’t give you any pain killer.” To which Marlin replied, “Doc, I can handle it. Just get it done today because I can’t make another trip down here.” The argument ensued and finally the doctor reluctantly gave in.

Marlin told me, “I knew I was in trouble then because the doctor nodded to his assistant, she picked up a towel and rolled it in a thin strip, wrapped around my forehead, twisted it behind the headrest and put all her weight down on it.

dentist1The old medicine man then literally climbed up in his persistent patient’s lap and proceeded, without any pain relief, to extract the bad tooth. (Don’t that make your eyes water!?)

Marlin said, “Probably the stupidest decision I have ever made. I just thought I was in pain before!”

Well, what can you say…we make wrong, bonehead decisions in life.  Hopefully we learn from them and make better ones the next time.

Romans 12:16 says “Don’t be wise in your own eyes.” That can get you into big trouble. Proverbs 11:14 “In a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Make wise decisions; seek advice. Life will be so much better.