The Fool Within
"What were you thinking?", I said. Then I realized I wasn't thinking! It is necessary to set my understanding straight on occasion, or you allow the 'inner fool' to go on thinking that thinking was "spot on". What happens when we don't respond to the foolishness? We allow a plethora of other stuff to continue on as though it did not matter. The inner fool looks for validation - when it doesn't find resistance to its actions, it takes this as validation. It is difficult to stop, take the effort and extreme amount of patience to speak with the fool around you, but sometimes it is harder to speak to the one within you! Yet, it is the very best course of action to prevent a flood of ill-effects from that 'inner' folly.
Answer a fool in simple terms so he doesn’t get a swelled head. (Proverbs 26:5)
We use simple terms to speak to the simpleton. No fool (even our inner fool) is responsive to some lengthy theological argument - the simplicity of scripture taken in is all the fool may need to understand that choice as not being the wisest. Ours is not the role of correcting the fool, but we can bring truth where it doesn't exist naturally - even to our inner man. When we do bring or take in truth, we need to do it with simplicity and accuracy. The 'inner fool' cannot figure out subtlety. What is needed is direct, head-on instruction to know where we got off course and how to turn things around. Once truth is put out there, it is up to us to embrace it and walk in it, or to reject it and continue to stray off course.
Too many of us fail when we are faced with the folly of the fool because we want to "own" the road out of the mess we find ourselves in. We need to allow the inner fool to experience the muddle of the mess and then figure the steps we need to take to get out of it. We have the road map with the truth we take in, but we don't might need a little hand holding from a higher source to ensure we read the map correctly! The road map is in our possession once we take in truth - the responsibility to consult it with each step doesn't stop just because we have the map.
We may want to avoid the confrontation with the inner fool, but we really cannot because those actions are impacting our lives. We have to know how to approach the inner fool (in simplicity), with what it is we approach (the truth), and then how to let go of the foolishness so we can embrace the right actions (in the care of the capable hands of the Holy Spirit to convict us where necessary). Just sayin!