• Jason Wade


9. Do not speak to fools,

for they will scorn your prudent words.

Proverbs 23:9

The new term in modern lingo is IYKYK.... if you you don't know what this stands for let me clue you in: "If You Know You Know". Looking at the Scripture verse for today, I was really taken back to one of my favorite TV shows growing up as a child called The A Team. And one of the main characters B.A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus was played by Mr. T and his iconic saying was "I pity the fool". The definition of a fool is: a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person. Now nothing personal but I think that we can all fall into that category. It is one of the easiest things that we do to "act the fool" because it gives us a chance to possibly let off some steam or just act a little crazy during this time of anxiety in our lives. I mean it is so crazy that we have even created an entire day that we can be a fool on April 1st ever year. April Fool's Day is a time that we can be a trickster or pull pranks or "fool" others to believe things that are not true. The word fool really comes to us from the medieval days as a fool or jester was used to entertain the king and it was determined that the persons that played the jester, were not really too smart at all, but in reality they were highly intelligent to find new ways every day to entertain the king and maintain their lives.

So now that we have somewhat of an understanding of the term fool, I think that maybe we need to dig a little deeper into the reality of the part that we play as a fool. One of biggest struggles that we have is to try and find a way to move forward in this world without making the BIG MISTAKE that may cause us to be lost. As we see from our earlier definition of fool, it means that we try and find a way not to act unwise. So here we are again standing at the door with knowledge and trying to find a way NOT to play the part of the fool. As we apply this knowledge into our everyday situations, it means that we have learned from our mistakes in hopes of not repeating them in the future. A good example is with a child and the lesson

of heat. When a child is playing and sees the red eyelets of the stove glowing, the child is naturally drawn to the stove like a moth to a flame. As the child reaches to touch the glowing eyelet, they learn a very powerful lessons that causes pain and suffering. This knowledge is powerful and the hope is that the next time they see the red eyelet they will use their knowledge of the mistake they made in the past and show wisdom not to repeat the same mistake. In our lesson today, the person would continue to be a fool and make the unwise choice to once again get burned. As we spoke a few lessons ago, we have to be careful of the company that we keep. Sometimes the "FOOL" is the one that enjoys making others fail. In fact, the fool is the wisest ones among us because they are capable of using their ways to cause us to continue to fall into trouble. For you Leave it to Beaver Fans from the 60's and 70's think Eddie Haskell. They knew what they wanted to do and were capable of getting us to do it so they would not get in trouble. Does that sound familiar with your circle of friends? Which one is the real fool?

As we dive into these few words today, don't just push it aside because there is only one verse. Today's lesson is packed with power and we have to be willing to really dig in to see the lessons we need to learn. Solomon writes, "Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words." And for many of us we look at that as a check mark statement. Ok, I got it and I will not do it. Check... But we really have to look a little deeper on how those words really do affect our lives. The first problem that we have is to identify the fools that we are already speaking to on a daily basis. See we all have fools in our lives and the real problem is that we also fall into that category. We fail to see that we make decisions on a whim and give or receive advice on a whim without truly thinking about the consequences. We find ourselves making up the truth and totally convincing ourselves and others within our circle that this right... even if it is so wrong. We just want to be in control and direct our own paths and so we have to be able to create boundaries that allows us to test the things that we say or do before we do them. In Romans 12:2, Paul writes, "Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." See Paul is saying the same thing as Solomon in that we are not to keep to the teaching of this world, or the foolish things that we have heard and make up, but we are to transform our thinking and decision process so that we can test these things against the will of God. We test all these things against the WORD of GOD so that we know and understand His good, pleasing and perfect will for our lives. We are able to make WISE choices because we are able to debunk the words of the foolish and apply the words of God in our daily decision making process.

The words of the foolish want to consistently cause us to doubt what we believe... doubt our solid foundations... and question the direction God is leading us. The prudent words that the fool does not want to hear are the words of God. They are so lost in their own concepts that they don't want to be held to the standards of God but they want to be free to live the standards of this world. They truly are living a life that is silly and foolish. And in the end when the final decision will be made on their eternal destiny, for many of the fools they will finally have to face reality. We have to continue to grow into the teachings of Solomon and recognize the ability that we have to help others to see the truth for what it truly is... the TRUTH. We must continue to establish moral boundaries that have been tested against God's Word and in the moment of uncertainty we draw from the TRUTH and stop listening

to the lies of the foolish. I know that it is going to be hard for many of us because it means that right now, 10 days into this journey, we are once again needing to evaluate our decision making process and the people we truly trust. I am not saying that we should not have FOOLS in our lives, they help to lighten the heavy moments when we need a good way to get through the day. What I am saying is that we need to be careful whose advice we seek as we are making decisions that effects every area of our future. B.A. Baracus really did get it right when he said, "I pity the fool", because for many, the foolish lifestyle is the only one we may know how to live. We are unwilling to step out of our comfort zones and take a step of faith in following the call God has on our lives. It is easier to laugh it off and live life without consequence, but one thing that finally happened to every fool... they eventually have to face the truth and make a decision which way they are going to go. I pray that we continue to dig into the teaching of Solomon on wisdom. I pray that we learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of those that have gone before us so that we can truly tell the difference between the truth and lies. It will not be easy at first, but the more you begin applying God's Word to every decision, the quicker you will realize just how foolish we lived life before. Making wise decisions and changing our lifestyle is a choice... and the choice is for each of us to make. But one thing is true... Jesus came to the fools and transformed them into disciples, and through us, He continues to do that today. Jesus used the same phrase as B.A. and He said I pity the fool and I am willing to give my life to love a fool. I am so glad that he loved a fool like me and helped to change me into a disciple regardless of where I was before I met Him. Jesus is willing to do the same for more fools today... who's ready to get in line?

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