Foolishness 101

wisdomsignFoolishness abounds in our world. Even common sense has gone out the window. Watch the evening news or scroll down your Facebook News Feed and inevitably you will ask yourself: am I crazy or what?

Scripture has a lot to say about foolishness. But the biblical definition of a fool goes beyond our modern day usage. It adds a dimension that is foundational to every deed of foolishness, namely, total disregard for God. A fool thinks or acts as if God doesn’t exist (Ps. 14:1). Foolishness thrives when God is ignored.

The book of Proverbs spells out the features of a fool. A fool

• Despises wisdom and instruction (1:7)
• Hates knowledge (1:22)
• Finds pleasure in doing evil (10:23)
• Thinks he is always right (12:15)
• Has little self-restraint (12:16)
• Doesn’t turn away from evil (13:19)
• Mocks at sin (14:9)
• Is arrogant and careless (14:16)
• Turns a deaf ear to rebuke (17:10)
• Loves his own opinion (18:2)
• Has an argumentative spirit (18:6)
• Is quick to quarrel (20:3)
• Spends all he has (21:20)
• Trusts in himself (28:26)
• Does not resolve conflict (29:9)
• Loses his temper (29:11)

Humans will think and operate like fools when they don’t believe the One in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge dwells (Col. 2:3). 

But for one moment, let’s be honest. Did you read anything in this list that at times describes you? I did. Foolishness is not only “out there”, we find it in our own hearts. As believers we can live as functional atheists. We confess that God is the sovereign ruler over our lives, but we act as if we are. And when we do, we become fools ourselves.

The foolishness in this world shouldn’t surprise us (1 Cor. 1:18-25). We, on the other hand, should grow in Biblical wisdom (Col. 1:9). We should be careful to walk not as unwise but as wise (Eph. 5:15). Let’s make sure that our outrage over the craziness of this world doesn’t muffle the much needed concern for our own souls.