I can always tell when I’m catching a cold. I’ve been known to catch my fair share and the same symptoms seems to manifest – the itchy throat, lethargy and the running nose. The good thing about symptoms is that once you notice them; you may be able to ward off the full-blown condition with a little vitamin C or echinacea.
The Bible gives very clear symptoms of foolishness to look out for in our own lives and to avoid in others.
Symptom 1: “There’s no God!”
Sorry, but Scripture explicitly says in Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” This is a true indication of a nutmo wrapped in a nutcase. Creation [itself] cries that God exists! Man has all the proof he needs and is foolish to deny the Creator in the complexity of the universe. Check out this site for more info: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html
The second sign of catching a case of foolishness is found in Proverbs 1:7. Being above discipline, advice or wisdom is one of the most dangerous indications of foolishness.
When someone gives you advice, do three things: 1. consider the source, 2. determine whether their advice is in perfect alignment with God’s principles and 3. Pray before you act, if you can.
Applying these three “tests” may help you decide what is wise or just some advice from a well-meaning “fool”. I have also learned to compare some advice with a few other sources. Depending on the topic, I may ask my brother Donnie, my mom or my best friend.
Also, the fear of the Lord referenced in this scripture is not about tormenting fear, but more about reverential or respectful fear. When you repeatedly ignore God’s laws, precepts and teachings you are in a fool’s path. Be careful, Godsy Girl.
Symptom 3: “Talking Crazy – Like a fool!”
When you get a moment, check our Ecclesiastes 10: 12-14. Just because you know something about someone (whether good or bad) doesn’t mean you have to share it with others. What pleasure is it to speak of someone’s personal business? None!
Yesterday, I had lunch with my wonderful cousin Eileen. Our conversation sauntered toward the multitude of challenges pastors face. We began to speak of a specific pastor overtaken in a fault. I love the way that conversation went. We spoke of praying for all our leaders and specifically that pastor. The entire reference was about seven seconds long and we never discussed the what, when and where of the brother’s shortcoming. We didn’t even go there and I love the integrity of that conversation. We all must learn how to season our words as we we do our food – sparingly! (Read Colossians 4:6)
Finally, verse fourteen speaks of a fool multiplying his words. Be careful how much you say, how you say it and to whom. During tense times, fewer words are always a sign of wisdom, Amen?
Sometimes, we all get a case of the foolishness; but prayer, apologies and the Word are all great remedies!
Matthew Henry’s Commentary says:
“Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God.”