Have you ever meet a fool? Well, if you have then how did you deal with them? I am not talking about those moments in our lives when we or someone we know occasionally does something foolish. I am a big fan of giving people the benefit of the doubt. We need to let those around us have an occasional bad day, or moment, and not hold it against them, or take it personally. However, there are still those that are the Proverbs fool and the question as Believers is, how do you deal with them? Believe it or not, I actually get that question asked frequently.
There have been times in my own life when I had to withdraw from”friends” because it was obvious they were, for lack of a better word, toxic. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them or enjoy some aspects of the friendship. Honestly, however, most fools have drama following them wherever they go. If at the moment they don’t, then they will stir some up. Fools are usually never satisfied and have not put away childish things. They also tend to react with emotion instead of logically thinking through circumstances; which leads to hasty decisions they usually soon come to regret.
Jan Silvious gave a great illustration one time about having a relationship with a fool. She said something like this: “Imagine you are standing on a castle tower and the drawbridge is up. The fool comes by, you are friendly, and wave, but you do not let down the bridge.” That may not make sense to you without hearing the rest of her teaching.
For more here is a list from Proverbs to help you discern a fool.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them.
The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.
O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.
The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.
A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.
Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.
Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly.
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?
He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.
The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes.
Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarrelling.
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Kim has been married for twenty-three years, a minister’s wife for more than twenty years. She has eight children and has been homeschooling for fifteen years. She would like to say she reads, travels and does all kinds of wonderful things in her spare time, but the truth is she spends her spare time doing laundry.
originally posted on July 2008.