Good Life Journal - Proverbs 26
"Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool..." Proverbs 26:8
So many observations about "fools" it is hard to pick out just one. How does one recognize a "fool"-Proverbs (and perhaps especially chapter 26) is a good place to learn about the characteristics and recognition of a "fool...?"
Why should we know how to recognize a "fool?"
God makes a pretty big deal of recognizing a "fool" in the Scriptures; certainly in Proverbs but also in the rest of the Scriptures as well. We may see it as a description of action and attitude but it is there just the same. Our implied directive is to understand what we deal with and act accordingly in a Biblical manner and conviction.
Why should we know about this? Remembering that we have been "Born Again", Converted, Changed-we have had our heart rebooted if you will-we are under the mandated obligation to not look at the world from the world's POV but renew our minds that we may prove/discern what the Will of God is-what is good acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2 paraphrase mine). Therefore it is a constant process for us to engage looking at the world through the lens of the Bible (the Word of God).
As an American Christian we are presented with unbiblical influences every day-some so insidious as to creep in without our being aware. "They sound reasonable (sort of)..." is an example. This is "giving honor" to a fool. And instead of being able to respond (a "loose stone in a sling ready to use") we bind up our ammunition so it cannot be fired.
This is an unfortunate description because unless we are prepared by study elsewhere in the Bible, it reads like we should be able to attack. Here is why we prepare ourselves to "answer a fool according to his folly..." Prov 26:5:
1. Before we were converted we were just like these folks. We are still not any better.
2. Even while we have been converted if we are not pursuing transforming our minds according to the Bible and sound Doctrine we can still be pursuing folly; we can still be "worldly fools."
3. We are not in a place of condemning "fools"; we are in a place to recognize, evaluate, and answer "fools" according to the Word of God. Condemnation is not in our tools of action; we do not have the authority to condemn. We can decisively declare what the Word of God says and stand firmly.
4. Some "fools" don't hear. Scripture says to recognize (use discernment) and avoid them.
Here are a few other points:
1. Be prepared.
2. Don't meddle.
3. Don't get into arguments just because you can.
4. Don't be wise in your own eyes.
I have to know my limitations, know I have feet of clay. I have to know that every day is by the Mercy of God and I cannot be independent from Him. My dependency for such as my every breath is from the Grace of God. I can't defend: "But God, I did it for You!" "Sorry son, you didn't pick up on my warning in Proverbs did you? I need you to grow and mature-not rush into battle where you are not prepared."
Father: Again and again I am presented with "grow up into My Son's image" from all over Your Word. Why didn't I see and acknowledge this a few decades ago? Smiling, I am comforted by the realization that the work You have begun in me You don't abandon. It is very cool and oh, so humbling that You regard me in that manner-this, a guy who has ignored and disobeyed You for so many years off and on. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for drawing me. If it was all up to me I wouldn't have come to You-You called me before I knew You did. Help me not be foolish and recognize foolishness. AMEN.