“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15).
Everyone who is born into this world comes in with congenital foolishness – otherwise known as the sin nature. Since then we live in a world of fools, let’s look at a few of their characteristics.
A fool denies God. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.”
A fool lives as if there is no God – denying God with his actions and attitude.
A fool becomes his own god. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” No man can live without a god. It is not a question of, does he worship? It’s a question, whom does he worship? If a person doesn’t worship the true God, he will worship a false god – which inevitably will be a reflection of himself. He becomes the one who determines truth and error, articulating his own standards of living.
A fool mocks sin. Proverbs 14:9a says, “Fools mock at sin.”
Since a fool makes his own rules, he wants to justify his own behavior to make sure he’s going to be all right in the end. He attempts to eliminate sin along with its consequences.
A fool, then, begins by living as if there were no God, substituting himself as god and determining his own style of life. Then he denies the existence of sin because he cannot tolerate guilt.
Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Wisdom, as defined in the Book of Proverbs, is living by divine standards, which implies accepting divine truth. But a fool rejects that. First Corinthians 2:14a says, “But natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.”
To a fool, foolishness is wisdom and wisdom is foolishness. That a fool rejects God’s wisdom is evident by the way he speaks. Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”
In other words, a fool is quick to air his opinions. Just as a bitter fountain produces bitter water, and a rotten tree produces rotten fruit, so also a fool produces foolishness – speaking on his own authority and generating his own opinions. The world is full of the opinions of fools, fools who have denied God by the way they live, who have become their own gods, and who mock the reality and consequences of sin. A fool is not only quick to air his own opinions but also promotes or propagates his foolishness to others. Proverbs 16:22 says, “ the instruction of fools is folly.” The fool contaminates the rest of society with the same foolishness that damns his own soul. He leaves it as a legacy to his children, his friends, and all those who fall under the influence of his folly. In contrast to fools, true believers are blessed to have the Spirit of wisdom indwelling and illuminating their understanding of the Bible.
Accept God into your heart today and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when you speak the words of truth, they will be “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
by JOHN DENMEN