Quotes about Foolishness
When the Bible speaks of fools and folly, it is referring not to mental deficiency but moral perversity… First, we deny God’s existence (Psm. 14:1), and then we deny life’s values.
The fool talks forever about nothing, not because he is full, but because he is empty, not for instruction, but for the pure love of talking.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit (Proverbs 26:4-5, KJV)… Both statements are true, and are to be taken seriously. In the first proverb, we are taught that we ought not respond to a fool on his level, we ought not to allow ourselves to be brought down to the level of a fool by answering him as foolishly as he has spoken. On the other hand, we are to answer the fool in a way that gives him no dignity, no satisfaction, lest he take himself too seriously. A fool is to be deal with as a fool, but we should not be made fools also in the process.
The person characterized by a foolish heart has a propensity to make an idol of escape, pleasure, self-sufficiency, or self-gratification. They may find themselves constantly in the pursuit of certain feelings, objects or the accumulation of things. This person may find themselves making conscious and/or unconscious statements like “I want it now!” or “I just can’t help myself!” The person who chooses to not deal with a foolish heart may be characterized by consuming addictions, blame-shifting, irresponsibility, and self-destruction. Others might comment that their actions and attitude are cavalier, irresponsible, lazy, selfish or immature.
A fool is not someone who is silly or unintelligent, but one who is unwise. He has never learned that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
[Four degrees of biblical foolishness:]
The first degree is the Simple or Naive Fool, who is unthinking, gullible. He lacks the most basic understanding of moral cause and effect.
The second degree is the Self-Confident Fool. He is known by his stubbornness, and by his big mouth.
The third degree is the Committed Fool, who has decisively rejected wisdom, and instead pledged his allegiance to destructive ideas and behaviors.
The fourth degree or terminal stage of Character Deficiency Syndrome is reached by the Scornful Fool, a mocker who is openly contemptuous of spiritual truth and moral righteousness.
Hatred of being corrected is the number one deficit of a fool (Todd Murray).
According to Proverbs the wise individual is cautious, prudent and acts with knowledge, fears God and receives counsel. Whereas the fool ignores God, is arrogant and careless, delights in airing opinions, lacks sense, despises wisdom and instruction, is right in her own eyes, ungracious and abusive and is hasty in his words.
Mockers are spoken of negatively often in Proverbs. According to that book, they delight in their scoffing and any interest in correcting them only results in dishonor because they refuse to listen to rebukes. A mocker goes beyond disagreement with the Word of God. They ridicule it and those who follow it. They have no desire for honest debate. No desire to have their opinions changed. They are arrogant, sarcastic and pompous. They are filled with pride, derision and contempt. That is why Psalm 1 says the wise individual should not “sit in the seat of scoffers, but [rather] delight…in the law of the LORD, and in His law…meditates day and night.”
As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.
Wisdom is the right of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.
“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Pr. 18:13). The fool responds without really hearing, with no careful thought or consideration. Speaking in haste is shameful. When we don’t listen, we disclose a low regard for the other’s words and a high regard for our own.
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” (Pr. 18:2). The agenda of a fool in conversation is getting things off his chest. Even when he is not speaking, he is not truly listening. He is simply shaping what he will say next. His next volley in the conversation is not returning the ball you served, but serving a new ball.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath.
The fool’s attention wanders, never focused on wisdom (Pr. 17:24). He ignores all consequences (Pr. 9). He is persuaded that his way is the right way, so there is no reason to listen to others (Pr. 14:12; 28:26). He thinks he will always get away with it, but he will be exposed (Pr. 15:3). He goes with his feelings, not realizing that they can mislead (Pr. 14:8). Of course, the fool feels the consequences of his behavior at times, and he might even have glimpses into how he has brought pain on others (Pr. 17:25), but consequences are no deterrent (Pr. 27:22). The destructive pattern is repeated because folly is enjoyed (Pr. 26:11).