Scoffs and taunts, like 'You're a fool,' are face slaps. In Matthew 5:22, we learn that words filled with scorn endanger their speaker.* Nevertheless, God also instructs us not to keep company with anyone who continues
in foolish behaviors.**
Fools and foolish behaviors are mentioned almost 200 times in the Bible.*** And within Proverbs, 78 times. So how does the Lord describe foolishness? What actions should we be guarding against?
'A fool rages and is self-confident' (Proverbs 14:16). 'In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride' (Proverbs 14:3). 'A fool vents all his feelings' (Proverbs 29:11). 'A fool lays open his folly' (Proverbs 13:16). 'A fool repeats his folly' (Proverbs 26:11). 'A fool despises his father's instruction' (Proverbs 15:5). 'A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart' (Proverbs 18:2). 'A fool's lips enter into contention' (Proverbs 18:6).
'The way of a fool is right in his own eyes' (Proverbs 12:15). 'To do evil is like sport to a fool' (Proverbs 10:23).
'He who trusts in his own heart is a fool' (Proverbs 28:26). 'Whoever spreads slander is a fool' (Proverbs 10:18). 'A quick-tempered man acts foolishly' (Proverbs 14:17). 'A foolish man squanders' (Proverbs 21:20). 'A foolish man despises his mother' (Proverbs 15:20). 'A foolish woman is clamorous' (Proverbs 9:13). 'Fools despise wisdom' (Proverbs 1:7). 'Fools hate knowledge' (Proverbs 1:22).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If someone rejects kind correction, if someone doesn't want to listen, if someone embraces arrogance, if someone speaks often and rashly, if someone disrespects his elders, if someone always believes he's right, if someone wastes his time and talent, then perhaps this someone is foolish.
Avoid him. Surely, don't become him.
To Be Continued...
* 'Whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire' (Matthew 5:22).
** All of us have acted foolishly. But as believers, we are told to leave behind childish behaviors and grow up in Christ.
*** 196 times in the NKJV: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?qs_version=NKJV&quicksearch=fool&begin=24&end=24
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.