Welcome to the 'Folly-wood'

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools! Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison. (Proverbs 26:1-6)

A fool is merely anyone who lacks judgment or good sense. Now, if we were to be truthful most of us could definitely cop to this plea! We are not consistently wise in our judgment, nor do we always use good sense! A fool is someone who does this habitually - but in everyday life, we all play the fool on occasion. The issue with the fool - they don't embrace wisdom, so they keep using "faulty" judgment over and over again. T
here are probably areas in our lives where we do the same - knowing what we know to be true, we ignore good judgment and just plunge headlong into whatever it is we are involved in. In those moments, we are neither using our good sense (common sense), nor are we listening to the still small voice of God reminding us of the error in our judgment. This is indeed "foolish".

The way the fool interacts with life is important for us to understand. These "interaction moments" need to be viewed in the way God sees them, so we become a little more sensitive to when those "moments" creep up in our lives! The fool looks for honor. Whenever we find ourselves actually seeking some form of honor from others for a task we have completed, or perhaps something we have finally stopped doing, we are looking in the wrong place. Honor is really best understood as feeling God's satisfaction with our decisions - like a settled sense of peace in our lives. All the praise and accolades of man will never replace this deep sense of peace God provides. All other honor is just for show!

Not every word spoken into your life, nor against your life needs to be embraced. A fool will embrace them all - taking many as "curses" or "slights" which are against him. Most people don't have good control over their words - me included! When we speak, it is often without "deep thought" or "careful consideration". To embrace everything someone says is silly - there are things they say in the moment which they really never intended to come across as it did - we need to let those go! The fool has a problem accepting leadership over his life. We ALL want to be in control of our lives, but the one who plays the part of the fool will resist even God's control. Bridles and big sticks are not the most pleasant way to direct one toward obedience, but the fool needs this kind of "intervention" in his life because there is a lack of submission to God's authority. There is "lip service" to God's authority, but as the child once said, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am standing up on the inside"!

When we answer a fool with equally "foolish" responses, we are slipping right into the same "folly". Rash responses are really the "trend" or "norm" for the fool. God's way of "doing business" is to be a little slower to answer than we might desire but hitting the nail on the head each and every time. The fool is impulsive - lacking in discretion and prudence. We need discretion in our lives - especially where it applies to our words and thoughts which lead to actions! Not all our word, nor our actions, are deserving of affirmation. In fact, some of them really would be best responded to with a firm bit of chastisement! The fool may have access to wisdom, but he seldom knows the truth behind what he possesses. The fool will accept at face value anything which resembles truth. Nothing can be believed if there is not at least an element of truth in it - so to rise above being deceived, we have to develop an awareness of truth. In other words, we have a relationship with truth! The deeper our relationship is with Jesus, the more we are likely to desire truth in our lives.

The fool is given to repeating mistakes. His indiscretions are many, often the same mistakes repeated time and again. What becomes the "norm" for the fool is really a series of bad judgments leading to bad actions, followed closely by bad "justifications" about why he pursued that course of action in the first place. If we find ourselves in the cycle of repeating past failures time and time again, we might just want to take a step back and ask God to show us how to break this cycle of 'folly' - because none of us wants to be labeled 'fool'. Just sayin!


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