The Way Of A Fool

April 28, 2015

                                         The Way Of A Fool

          You may say, “I’m not a fool so I don’t need to read this article.” Wait a minute. Even in the best of us there are still some foolish ways.  Proverbs 12:15 says we can’t trust our eyes. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”  Our eyes may tell us we aren’t fools, but our actions may prove us wrong.  The wise harken to counsel.  This article will give you counsel.  You need to read it.  This article was written so that, after you have read it, you will know who the fool is, what he does, and why he does it.  Then, in closing you will see what the antidote for foolishness is.

We will go to the book of Proverbs to see who the fool is.  First of all, in 1:7 we see that he is one who refuses to learn.  “fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  In the verse we quoted in the introduction it says that the fool is right in his own eyes.  It is in vain to try to correct him because he is convinced that he is right.  He thinks we need to change, not him. If we go on to 14:9 we learn that the fool is one who makes a mock of sin.  “Fools make a mock at sin.” Fools make jokes about sin.  He isn’t at all ashamed of his behavior.  When you find someone who behaves this way you can be sure that he is a fool.

The book of Proverbs tells us some of the things a fool does.  In 14:8 it says he deceives.  “The folly of fools is deceit.”   He himself is deceived, but he doesn’t realize it.  Since he thinks his way is right, he tries to deceive others and convince them to think like he does.  Proverbs 29:11 says he utters all his mind.  “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”  Whatever is uppermost in the mind of a fool is apt to come out of his mouth.  The wise man knows that some of what he thinks is best left unsaid.  The fool gets himself in a heap of trouble because he can’t keep secrets.  Much more could be said about what the fool does, but let’s go on to explain why he does what he does.

The folly of the fool is that he doesn’t take heed to that which should be obvious to him.  To make matters worse, he refuses to harken unto counsel.  Again and again the Bible tells us that we need to take heed.  Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “         Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.”  In the gospels Jesus said again and again “Take heed.”   To regard is a word that is similar to take heed.  In Proverbs 15:5 we read “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.”  There is little hope for us if we refuse to take heed and regard reproof.

This article wouldn’t end well without something being said about the antidote for foolishness.  Parents need to take earnest heed to what it says in Proverbs 22:15.  “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”  Parents may think that if foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, the solution is to send him to school.  It must be that he has a lack of knowledge.  However, the fool isn’t a fool because he is ignorant.  He is a fool because he doesn’t take heed to what he has learned.    Education is not the solution.  If we send a fool to college he will graduate being an educated fool.  We have many of them.  Unfortunately, we have chosen many of them to be our political leaders.  They are making foolish decisions on our behalf

The Bible says the rod of correction needs to be used to drive foolishness out of a child.  Once he or she is an adult this method can no longer be used.  It is extremely important that parents train their children to turn from their foolish ways and accept reproof.  It must be admitted that there is a wrong way to use the rod.  If you beat your child over the head with it, or use it so severely that he goes on suffering pain for several days, you haven’t used it right.  It is unfortunate that we have allowed our leaders to make corporal punishment a misdemeanor punishable by law.  It could easily be proven  that children brought up by parents who used the rod are better behaved and more successful in life.

Wisdom is the opposite of foolishness.  Therefore, the acceptance of wisdom is an antidote for foolishness.  Prov. 10:21 says, “Fools die for want of wisdom.”  There is no good excuse for that.  Proverbs 1:20-22 says, “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:   She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,   How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”  The New Testament offer of wisdom is found in James 1:5 which says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”  None of us ever acquire the full measure of wisdom, but there is no reason why we can’t have enough of it keep us from being fools.

Another question that needs to be addressed is, what should be done for a fool when he finds himself in desperation?  He is broke.  He can’t find a job because he doesn’t have an education or skills.  His family is hungry and clothed in rags.  The thinking of many in our society is that we need to pay his way.  Their advice, of course, isn’t to take up an offering for him.  “No,” they say.  “Put him on welfare.”  Will that solve his problem?  No.  The fool needs to be obligated to enroll in the school of hard knocks.  II Thesallonians 3:10 says that if a man refuses to work, neither should he eat.  An empty stomach has a way of motivating a man to look for a solution to his problem.

We need to show compassion to the fools, but with discretion.  We need to let them know that we care, and that we will be at their side if they are willing and ready to accept counsel.  We may need to give them a little financial help, but let them know that what they really need is to be willing to accept counsel.  If they aren’t willing to accept it, then they shouldn’t expect to receive further financial help.  If a man falls in a deep hole and can’t get out the way to help him isn’t to let down buckets of food and water on a cord.  He needs for someone to let down a ladder and help him get out of the hole.

Maybe you and I aren’t fools, but at times we still go the way of the fool.  Seek God and let him lead you in the right way.

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