Written by Doug Apple, Wave94 Thursday, 21 October 2010 18:51
You don’t want to be a fool.
You don’t need a Bible verse to tell you that, I hope, but if you do, go to Ephesians 5:15 which tells us not to live like fools.
Listen to this list of things found in Mark 7:22, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride and… foolishness.
Jesus indicates in Matthew 7:26 that anyone who hears His words and does not put them into practice is a foolish man.
Of course the book of Proverbs is a treasure chest of information about fools, and includes some startling descriptions.
Proverbs 17:12 says that it is better to have a run-in with a mother bear than it is to deal with a fool.
Proverbs 26:6 says that trusting a fool with an important message is like cutting off your own feet.
And listen to Proverbs 26:3, “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the fool’s back.”
Believe me, you do not want to be a fool!
But how do you know? How do you know if you are a fool or not?
Well I went through the entire book of Proverbs and compiled the characteristics of a fool, and here is one that shows up repeatedly.
To find out if you are a fool or not, take a close look at your attitude toward wisdom and instruction and knowledge.
For example, what is your attitude when your parents try to give you advice? Proverbs 15:5 says, “A fool despises his father’s instruction…”
Other Proverbs say things like:
Fools hate knowledge. (Proverbs 1:22)
Fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 23:9)
Fools find no pleasure in understanding. (Proverbs 18:2)
Instead of these, a fool feeds his mind on trash. Proverbs 15:14 says that fools feed on folly and foolishness.
According to Proverbs 17:24, a wise man keeps his eyes on wisdom, but what does a fool do? His eyes wander everywhere. One bit of information is as good as another. His eyes wander to the “ends of the earth,” the Bible says.
So what are you feeding your mind on? What is your attitude toward wisdom and knowledge and instruction? How do you respond to advice from parents or others who are older or wiser or more experienced? That is a good indication of whether or not you are a fool.
Perhaps the second biggest indicator, based on how often it shows up in Proverbs, is this. A fool is known for running his mouth.
Proverbs calls him a prating fool or a chattering fool or a babbling fool.
Proverbs 13:16 says that a fool exposes his own folly. Out of his mouth pours foolishness. (Proverbs 15:2)
A fool doesn’t talk to try to come to a deeper understanding. He just delights in airing his own opinions (Proverbs 18:2).
Listen to Proverbs 18:6. “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.” (See also Proverbs 10:14.)
A fool just can’t shut up! His mouth is his undoing. (Proverbs 18:7)
Proverbs 10:18 says that a fool spreads slander. A fool doesn’t worry about getting his facts straight, he just opens his mouth and lets it fly!
So that’s the second big indicator of a fool in the book of Proverbs. If you just can’t seem to control your runaway mouth, you may well be a fool.
Here is another big indicator: a fool just never seems to learn. A simple rebuke will teach a wise man quicker 100 lashes will teach a fool.
A fool won’t learn from discipline, and he won’t even learn from experience. Listen to the graphic language of Proverbs 26:11. “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”
Proverbs 27:22 says grind him like grain, yet you just can’t separate a fool from his folly.
One reason is because a fool thinks his way is right. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes…” Proverbs 14:8 indicates that fools deceive themselves.
Fools are quick tempered. (Proverbs 12:16, Proverbs 29:11)
Fools are quick to quarrel. (Proverbs 20:3)
Fools find pleasure in evil and hate to turn from it. (Proverbs 10:23, Proverbs 13:19)
Fools squander what they get. (Proverbs 21:20)
So what do you think? Do you see yourself at all in any of these indicators of a fool?
If so, that is good news! The first step away from foolish behavior is to recognize it.
Now you can use this information to seek the Lord’s wisdom and wise human counsel in order to move away from the folly of the fool.
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
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