The Best Way To Help A Fool

November 25, 2016

The Best Way To Help A Fool

Many are grieving about a son or daughter; grandson or granddaughter, who is making foolish mistakes and they long to help them. Perhaps they have tried to help them, but without success. If you find yourself in this situation, this article is for you.

The book of Proverbs has much to say about the fool. You can’t afford to be without the wisdom and knowledge the book of Proverbs offers. It will help you understand the ways and thinking of the fool. As a word of caution; it’s best not to call anyone a fool to his face. It is offensive. You can see that he is a fool, but keep it to yourself.

In the first chapter of the book of Proverbs we read in verse seven that the fool despises wisdom and instruction. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The fool thinks he knows what he needs, but wisdom and instructions aren’t included. He thinks he needs money, but if he had it he wouldn’t know how to spend it. He may think he needs a job, but without wisdom and instruction he wouldn’t have any thing to offer to his employer. He may think he needs companionship, perhaps a life partner, but without wisdom and instruction he wouldn’t be able to contribute a significant part to the relationship.

Many people are hurt by the fool. He may steal from people he doesn’t know. When he drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol he may do damage to, or even kill, people he doesn’t know. Family members suffer because of him. Proverbs 10:1 says “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” When we see what the foolish person is doing, our natural reaction may be to say, “He or she needs help.”

How can you best help him? Logically we see that he needs to understand that what he is doing is detrimental to him and others around him. The problem is found in Proverbs 18:2. “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” We can’t help him if he doesn’t want to understand.

We can teach people, but we can’t make them learn if they don’t want to. We can reason with people, but we can’t make them understand if they don’t want to. We can show favor to a fool and perhaps deliver him out of a bad situation he finds himself in, but there is no assurance that he won’t fall again into the same situation. Proverbs 26:8 says “As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.”

In the light of all these obstacles, how then can we help a fool? There are still two things we can do for him. The first is to pray for him. “Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

The second thing that can be done for the fool is to assure him that you stand by ready to help him, but only if and when he sees that he has a genuine need of help. Don’t let him fool you by making a pretense of repentance only to get a hand out from you. Explain to him that he must do his part to regain the confidence that you and others have lost in him.

Many times it is hard to be patient, especially when we see a loved one suffering because of foolish decisions he keeps making. II Corinthians 7:9-10 says that sorrow worketh repentance. “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Many times we have to leave the fool in God’s hands and keep praying in hopes that the time will come when he will be willing and ready to accept our help.


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