How We Look Like Fools Today

Are you a fool? Do not think that a funny question. When the Bible calls you a fool, it is a very big deal. Fools oppose God. Fools are destined for destruction. And, in the book of Proverbs, we see things that show that our current culture is producing fools at an alarming rate.

Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Just consider the above verse in the light of modern discourse. A wise person keeps his or her emotions in check. A fool gives full vent to his or her emotions, thoughts, frustrations, etc. Think about that comparison, and ask yourself if you more often look like a wise person or a fool.

Our society seems built today on people lashing out screaming and shouting, and spilling every emotion that we feel. Universities have developed safe spaces for students to cry and snuggle teddy bears if they hear any thought with which they disagree. Those same universities allow those same students to scream at, curse at, physically threaten, and shout down speakers who present an opposing worldview.

And we could look at a hundred other arenas. Look at the Internet and social media. Who is not venting their spirit? Look at political debate and show me a man or woman behaving with decorum. Show me any form of modern entertainment that does not make its money on people spouting off whatever they feel at the time.

We have become, as a nation, a society of fools. We have lost decorum. WE have relinquished self-control. We have stopped calling for people to control their emotions and consider their words before they speak them or write them.

But, thanks be to God, there is still godly wisdom. Christians, may we learn to uphold it. May we be wise, obedient to the word of God, following the commands of Scripture and the example of Christ. May we be people who learn to speak with thought before emotion. May we be people who learn to behave with a decorum that pleases the Lord. May we be a people who refuse to sink to the level of the world around us.

And, Christian, test yourself. Have you given into the world’s thinking on your venting of your spirit? Have you bought into the lie that, if you feel something strongly, you have to let it out? The word of God never gives us the pressure-cooker-model of emotions. Instead, the word of God calls us to tame our feelings, to think before we speak, and to control our expression. If you are one who regularly blows up at your family, at your friends, or at strangers, you are acting a fool. Plead with the Lord to help you live out Christlike wisdom.

A lesson on Insults

Many conflicts in our lives are caused by our supposed need to address every insult we perceive that we have received. But the Bible lets us know that it can be to a man’s glory to overlook an offense. Sometimes we need to make a conscious choice not to react to nasty things said about us if those nasty things are clearly untrue.

Perhaps this proverb will help.

Proverbs 26:2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.

The picture here is simple. Birds fly over your head. If they do not land on you, they really do not impact you. Well, a curse spoken against you, a nasty thing said about you, one that is not true, is like a bird that does not land on you. If the nasty thing is untrue, it should not provoke you to a reaction any more than does a bird flying past. Undeserved curses do not come to rest.

Now, obviously it requires wisdom to know when to respond to an insult and when to let it go. Some untruths have to be countered for the glory of God and for the defense of our Christian message. But the point we also need to grasp is that not all insults require us to stand and fight. Some are so foolish, so small, so obviously wrong that we can ignore them in the same way we ignore a pigeon.

So, Christian, pray that God will give you wisdom. Yes, when it matters, go to bat. But when it does not matter, let it fly by.

Also, Christian, ask the Lord, when you are offended by an insult, if it should land. Perhaps you are offended because what is said about you has a grain of truth in it. Let that lead you to repentance.