Monday, February 27, 2012

Characteristics of Foolish Behavior

The Bible gives us a clear picture of foolish behavior and its consequences. It’s important for us to recognize these traits in others—and in ourselves. Dealing appropriately with people who behave foolishly requires prayer and wisdom. But remember, that foolish person is not in your life by accident, and you can by God’s grace respond to him or her in a Christ-like manner.

Characteristics of Foolish Behavior

1. Denying, disregarding, or rebelling against God.
The fool says in his heart “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

2. Slandering, lying, deceiving
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool
(Proverbs 10:18).

3. Quick-Tempered  A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult (Proverbs 12:16).

4. Acts Impetuously and Without Regard for Consequences 
 In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. (Proverbs 13:16).
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
(Proverbs 14:16).

5. Talks endlessly, brags, spouts off frequently.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion
(Proverbs 18:2).
The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near. (Proverbs 10:14).
A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. (Proverbs 18:7 ).

6. Refuses Advice, Accountability and/or Discipline
A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent
(Proverbs 15:5).
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool
(Proverbs 17:10).

7. Handles Money Recklessly
Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?
(Proverbs 17:16).
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all
he has (Proverbs 21:20).

8. Quarrels frequently, picks fights, is contentious
Fools get into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating (Proverbs 18:6 NLT).
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control
(Proverbs 29:11).

9. Lazy, Lacks Focus and Ambition
Foolish people refuse to work and almost starve (Ecclesiastes 4:5).
A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now
(Ecclesiastes 7:4 ).
Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they have no strength for even the simplest tasks
(Ecclesiastes 10:15 ).

10. Never Learns from Past Experience
As a do returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly (Proverbs 26:11).
You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with
mortar and pestle (Proverbs 27:22 ).

How are we to respond to foolish behavior?

1. First and most importantly, we pray for them.

2. Second, watch your attitude and motivation toward these foolish people:

Principle #1 Don’t be surprised if they refuse good advice.
Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice
(Proverbs 23:9 ).

Principle #2 Don’t give them honor or luxury.
It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury – how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!
(Proverbs 19:10).
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool (Proverbs 26:1).

Principle #3 Don’t argue with foolish people.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce
quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to
teach, not resentful (2 Tim. 2:23-24).

Principle #4
Protect yourself from the resentment and anger caused by foolish people.
A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is heavier than both
(Proverbs 27:3 ).

Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips (Proverbs 14:7).


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  1. I was just about to sign off for the morning when I noticed your blog had been updated. I think the timing is perfect as I really needed to read this today. :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have been trying and praying to be more Christ-like/godly in my approach to mothering and "wifedom.". I have let sleep deprivation (new baby) be an excuse for so many examples on the list. Nit. Good.

    Thanks for the reminder of what specific things I need to continue working on (and the scripture to back it all up).

  3. This is wonderful, June!!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ugh, too many of these still apply to me. Thank you for sharing these verses. I can see that I have a lot to pray about and work on! We're always a work in progress, aren't we?

  5. Thank you for posting...I spoke wrongly towards my husband last night, and the Lord has been correcting my behavior all day -this being one of the many ways...Time to go pray...

  6. After reading "Characteristics of Foolish Behavior", I am truly blessed to know that I have responded correctly to some of my "opportunities". Thank you for sharing them with us!

  7. This is so helpful. Happy, encouraging blog posts are nice, but good biblical instruction such as this is so necessary, too. And some of these are reminders I really should just post for myself.

  8. This was so helpful and timely. Thanks so much for this post. :)

  9. There will never be a time this side of heaven when we don't need to be reminded of the differences between wise and foolish behavior!

    How I praise Him for His grace as we are growing in His Wisdom and hopefully learning from our mistakes!

  10. Just wondering...I am related to someone who is married to a man with every single foolish quality listed...and he is to the extreme. In the beginning of their marriage, he seemed like a great guy. They are approaching 10 years of marriage and we are seeing how deceiving he is...he has even lied to my family about my husband to cover things that HE actually did. He has caused a lot of hurt in our family. She has decided to file to divorce him and while I think she will be much better off, it will cause other issues as there are children involved. They do not need to be exposed to the things happening because of him. I just can't help wondering, though, what does the Lord think of this situation and would He approve of divorce? This man really is sick mentally and has legally crossed lines too.

  11. It's much easier to avoid the fool when he is someone outside your home. It is much more difficult when it is one of your own children. It makes teaching and instructing extremely difficult.
    I must spend more time in prayer!

  12. THANK YOU for thsi post today. I really needed this very much. I struggle with a relative of mine who is sometimes difficult to get along with. So this is giving me some very useful tools to deal with that in a biblical way ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  13. This is awesome... I was planning on working on my Women's Bible Study worksheet this morning to find out that I had left it at work. So, the LORD brought to remembrance our Memory Verse from last week... "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14:1

    Although this scripture is clear to me, I felt compelled to dig deeper. Digging deeper to me is searching the internet for other peoples insight. LoL.. Anyhow, I came across your blog and it is amazing.
    And has not only inspired me to share this devotion with our women's softball teams. But it has inspired and encouraged me to share with those who are struggling and wondering why.

    Thank you LORD for faithfulness and for using this woman as a tool to equippt me. You are AWESOME! In Jesus' name I pray. AMEN.

  14. Great teaching tools. Praise God! Very much impresses and challenged as well. "Amen".


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