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.