Honor is Not Fitting for a Fool, The Flip Side of Godly Wisdom, Part 2
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.
This has been an interesting study for me, and I sincerely hope it will be meaningful to you. To understand godly wisdom, we benefit from learning what it is not. Most surprising is the volume of information available in the book of Proverbs on the futile wisdom of fools, which is no wisdom at all.
I found 38 signs to identify the behavior and mindset of a fool. Our goal here is not to point an accusing finger at others, but to examine ourselves. As Christians it should be our fervent desire to rid ourselves of all thoughts and behavior that dishonor our Lord.
- Fools detest turning from evil (Pro. 13:19)
In Romans 12:9, we’re taught to “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” A fool clings to evil, unwilling to turn loose of destructive habits and behavior.
- Fools lash out with pride (Pro. 14:3)
Foolish pride is like a wall of defense. The one who crosses that line — catches self-righteous fury for offering true wisdom and truth.
- Fools give unknowledgeable advice (Pro. 14:7)
Even though fools are closed to knowledgeable advice, they have no qualms against dishing it out. Their knowledge is superior and not to be challenged.
- Fools deceive others (Pro. 14:8)
Fools are equal opportunity deceivers and manipulators. Family and so-called friends are fair game for their schemes to get what they want. Willingly and cunningly they even hurt the ones they love to get what they want.
- Fools mock at making amends for sin (Pro. 14:9)
Fools are oblivious to genuine remorse and guilt. Oh, they may say they’re sorry, even lavish you with gifts and platitudes for their indiscretions. But it’s all smoke and mirrors. The reason they are incapable of heartfelt regret is that they don’t really believe they’ve done anything wrong, or — they just don’t care.
- Fools are hotheaded (Pro. 14:16)
Explosive. Volatile. Like a powder keg ready to blow at the slightest provocation. Living around someone like this is a nightmare and can be dangerous.
- Fools devise evil schemes (Pro. 14:17)
A good novel has an antagonist, the bad guy or gal who’s continually hatching plans to stir things up. My grandmother loved soap operas and spoke openly to the wicked characters. She called the lady villains hussies. Unfortunately, these conniving and sinister troublemakers aren’t just fictional players in a story. They are real and live among us. They’re in our families, in the workplace, on the internet, and wherever we go.
- Fools spurn a parent’s discipline (Pro. 15:5)
Who among us liked the discipline of our parents? But, when given responsibly with proper motives it was for our good. We benefitted from it. It helped us mature and avoid consequences for stupid behavior. But we also know some children resist attempts at correcting their behavior. Solomon calls those offspring fools. Remember, the opposite side of the coin. For each one of these foolish traits we need only turn them over to learn wisdom that honors God.
- Fools hearts are not upright (Pro. 15:7)
Herein lies the real problem. Fools suffer from heart disease. Not the physical malady, but the spiritual sickness caused by sin. The desire for WANT trumps the desire for RIGHTEOUSNESS. They are most likely lost, unredeemed, and unsaved. It is possible, however, they are backslidden, wayward, and walking apart from the will of God.
- Fools feed on foolishness (Pro. 15:14)
One of my least favorite chores as a child was slopping granddaddy’s hogs. They smelled, they lived in stinky mud, and the food they ate wasn’t called slop for nothing. When I poured that mixture of table scraps, garbage, and meal into their troughs, they went crazy. Acted as if they hadn’t eaten in days, and this was the best thing they’d ever tasted. Fools are like that. They feed on foolishness. You and I turn away from such behavior because it repulses us.
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No wonder Solomon is considered the wisest person who ever lived. His insight into life and human behavior is astounding.
God used the Ten Commandments to establish the boundaries for wise behavior. Interestingly, the majority of His commands begin with “Thou shalt not.” In Proverbs, Solomon shows us the fools side of the fence, the way they act and think. He paints ugly picture of the dominion of fools as destructive and futile so we’ll see the beauty and benefits of wisdom.
More tomorrow from the book of Proverbs, as we continue to look at Fools Despise Wisdom and Instruction, The Flip Side of Godly Wisdom, Part 3.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Peacemakers Needed Now More than Ever
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.