Tag Archives: Fool

Playing or Getting Played by the Fool

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage. –Proverbs 26:6, KJV

The past two entries from Michael and me covered answering the fool in various ways. The next one after this from Dawn does a great job unifying Proverbs 26:4-5.

For this, I will look at how we can play the fool and be played by the fool with proverbs.

Playing the Fool

We may be very godly, have Scripture memorized (or be very quick looking up passages in our Bible apps on our phones 😉), and we have the right verse to respond to everyone.

But sometimes, people don’t need the Bible verse. Either they are adamantly opposed to our messageor they simply needed a hug and a listening ear, and our perfect verse led to a tantrum or to their brain shutting down and stop listening to us. Or worse, they lash out at others or injure themselves.

Played by the Fool

This second point is more prevalent in our world. This is the person who knows just enough about religion or academics or life in general to be dangerous.

This is the person who takes a Bibke verse out of context to prove you wrong, uses a blend of world religions’ teachings to show how much more about the world they know (but misapply much of it due to contradicting the Bible), or tries to help make the world better without accounting for human sin (while pointing out the sins of humanity).

This person speaks without knowledge and hurts others more by driving them away from God (see Jeremiah 10).

Avoiding the Cup of Wrath

What we all fail to realize – whether playing or getting played by the fool – is that we are setting each other up to drink damage, from the ultimate damage, God’s cup of wrath.

But there is a relief. We can allow the Holy Spirit to guide us (and help us keep our mouths shut).

But only if we repent and believe in the One who drank that cup for us (Isaiah 51:17, Jeremiah 25:15, Habakkuk 2:15–16, Matthew 20:20–23) are we able to receive the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who uses wise-sounding or even scriptural words to cause division or lead others away from Jesus Christ is only cutting them off at the feet so they stumble straight into eternal destruction.

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Am I just being stupid?

We all know foolish (stupid) people. We see them every day on TV or at work. Everyone really knows they are a fool and speaking stupidly. But is this about “them”? I am being warned not to be foolish myself.

I have a tendency to jump into the fray. I answer them. I argue with them. I defend myself and others I care about. I get sucked in. It isn’t pretty.

To what use is my response to things that are clearly stupid? Wisdom challenges me to not respond.

So why not respond? I look foolish falling into the fool’s trap. That is not the way of Wisdom. God’s goal for me is to focus on the truth and speak it plainly. I can wait and circle back to the truth at the right time. It may only be a few minutes later. It may take longer. I am to speak the truth about Jesus. I just need to be careful about responding to the stupidity of some things.

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool; you’ll only look foolish yourself.

~King Solomon | Source: Proverbs 26:4

Wisdom literature has a lot to say about fools. Proverbs 26 has many references. The skeptic and atheist are known to King David and King Solomon as fools. We hear David say: “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

I have to be careful. We all should. This is not about moral superiority. David continues on in Psalm 14:2-3 and makes it clear that as God looks down on all people, He can find none who is not corrupt, emphasizing it with “not even one.”

Yikes! I resemble that remark.

The Hebrew word translated “fool” is nâbâl, which is an adjective having the meaning of “stupid, wicked” or “vile person.” It comes from the root verb nâbêl, which means “to fall away,” “figuratively to be foolish or (morally) wicked” or “causatively to despise, disgrace: – disgrace, dishonour.” So, the Hebrew word nâbâl refers more to bad moral character rather than just being stupid. He is foolish because he thinks God will not notice his bad behavior.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 


When to Answer the Fool

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. -Proverbs 26:5, KJV

This is a fairly easy verse to understand: tell someone when they are doing something wrong, otherwise they may think they have it all figured out and are doing nothing wrong.

I could stop there, but perhaps some examples could help.

Children need to be told what is right and wrong, or they grow up thinking everything they do is okay and even good, if they survive! (My parents told me not to run I to the street, for example.)

A gossip will continue spreading lies and mistruths unless they are confronted and corrected.

Most importantly, people are on their way to Hell, thinking they are okay or even right in their beliefs, unless the Gospel is shared with them.

There are times to know when to stop and “shake the dust off your feet,” as mentioned in the previous verse or by Jesus Himself (Matthew 10, Luke 9, Mark 6). That is for another post!


Mock Sin & Mock Christ

Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. -Proverbs 14:9, KJV

Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance. –Proverbs 14:9, ESV

In a previous entry, Michael discussed the dangers of hanging around with and even engaging others who refuse to believe in God.

One of those reasons is addressed in this verse.

Most people in this world will find it foolish to make atonement for sin, if there even is such a thing! The reasons vary:

  • As stated, there may not be sin. This categorically denied by most people, as they decry injustice, otherwise known as sin.
  • Good outweighs the bad in our lives. However, we can return to the analogy of being before a judge who convicts you on the crime, not your character.
  • Would a good God really condemn people? If he is really loving he would just forgive. Well …

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Hebrews 9:22 ESV

God is good, but He is also just. His justice demanded atonement, and that atonement was achieved fully in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Those who find this truth and believe it will find the imputed favor of God, the acceptance of Jesus.

Don’t mock sin. Mock sin, and you mock Christ’s sacrifice.You are guilty of that sin and in need of That Sacrifice.


Am I spending too much time with fools?

Image result for fool no god

Atheist

Scripture portrays fools as those who have rejected God and his ways and are unable or unwilling to appreciate the wisdom of knowing and obeying him. A great example is “A fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”

So what to do? Argue with atheists? Have wonderful debates over theology and dogma?

Not hardly. They are a waste of my time. They are a waste of my words. Jesus warned me to not cast my pearls before swine. Continue reading


From Joke to Redemption

Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. -Proverbs 10:23, ESV

The past 20 years has shown so many movies and TV shows that glorify dangerous and stupid acts as comedy. In fact, as of this writing there is a new film being released by a veteran of this genre about an amusement park that minimizes safety (and they do all their own stunts).

All for a laugh.

What pains me is that this veteran of “comedy” is incredibly intelligent and a good actor.

A Changed Man

I have written in these pages before about my own life. When I was in high school, before Christ grabbed hold of me, I had pretty much given up on this world. I was a master liar who manipulated situations to cause pain to others. I found it a joke, much like these movies, but only on the emotional and psychological levels as opposed to physical.

But when Christ transformed my mind by His Holy Spirit, those “jokes” were no longer funny. Suddenly wisdom and compassion were my joy.

This is the difference between the world and a Christian. The world sees pain as a joke, as entertainment. A Christian sees pain as part of a fallen world, redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice to edify His Church and ultimately end suffering.

If He redeemed this joke of a man to a tool of understanding, He can do it for anyone. Even that “veteran.”

Even you.


Short-Fused

Proverbs 29:11

“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”
“A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.” – NASB

Have you ever been around someone who has a “short fuse?” It is like you are walking on broken glass in socks. You can walk carefully for a while, but if you make one slip a shard will make its way into your foot. You can be talking with your short-tempered friend like you would any other day, but if you mention something he doesn’t like then he could transform into the Tasmanian Devil (Taz) from Loony Tunes. 230px-Taz-Looney_Tunes.svg

Then there is the wise man. This is the kind of person that can be insulted and walk away, or when something bad happens is willing to hold back his anger in order to comprehend the situation. When you are with this kind of person you can relax.

Are you the self-controlled wise man, or are you the short-fused fool? Can you relate to Mr. Miyagi (the quiet sensei from Karate Kid), or do you act like the Hulk? Are you slow to anger like a sloth is slow to do anything at all, or are you easily provoked like an army of fire ants?

“[Be] quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” – James 1:19-20 NASB