The second thing the psalmist learned about himself as he paused in self-examination was this: "I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant" (Psa. 73:22, TLB). There were things he knew which he had foolishly chosen to forget. He forgot that God was in control. He forgot the temporary nature of success and prosperity. He forgot the whole purpose of godly living. He forgot that God always has the last word. If you and I react as the psalmist did to trials, then there is only one thing that can be said about us - we are stupid and ignorant. The third thing the psalmist learned about himself was that he had reacted like an animal - instinctively: "I was a brute beast before you" (Psa. 73:22b). What is the difference between a beast and a human being? A beast lacks the faculty of reason. It is unable to stand outside itself to consider itself and its actions. An animal responds to any stimulus instinctively without any interval for thought. The psalmist had been doing that - he had failed to put an interval of thought between the stimulus and the response. Once he did stop to think, and put the situation in a different context, his negative feelings immediately dissolved. Is not this the value of the Scriptures? As we read them they reason with us. They tell us not to react instinctively to things, but to think them through. They give us a new framework for our understanding, a new context in which to reason. The more we draw our understanding from the Scriptures and learn to think God's thoughts after Him, the more secure and the more effective our lives become.