Michael Brown on Are You a Fool According to the Bible?

As defined by the Scriptures, a fool is not someone who is uneducated or a person with a low IQ. Rather, a fool is someone who is deeply deficient spiritually and morally. As summed up in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Are you a fool according to the Bible? Am I? Let’s look at just a few of the characteristics of the fool as laid out in Proverbs.

1. “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

The fool is always right in his (or her eyes), never willing to take correction, never willing to listen to sound advice, never willing to acknowledge error or wrong.

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Perhaps we are not this extreme in our stubbornness, but is this our general tendency? Can people approach us easily, without fear? Do we receive correction with humility and even appreciation?

That’s why Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.” So also Proverbs 17:10: “A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.”

Are you foolish or are you wise?

2. “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult” (Proverbs 12:16).

Fools lack self-control. They are easily annoyed, easily angered, easily provoked. In contrast, those who are prudent will overlook insult and shaming. Which attitude would your friends and family and co-workers say is more characteristic of you?

According to Proverbs, lack of self-control is one of the most common characteristics of a fool. “The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated” (Proverbs 14:16-17).

And, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Proverbs 29:11).

Are you known as a hothead? Does everyone around you know immediately when you are annoyed? Do you find it hard to overlook an insult?

On a scale of 1-10, if 1 stood for “wise” and 10 stood for “foolish,” how would you score yourself? And how would those closest to you score you?

To quote one more relevant verse (among many), “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly” (Proverbs 14:29.)

What are we displaying by our lives and our words?

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SOURCE: Stream.org, Michael Brown

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program.  He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 40 books.  Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

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