Am I Foolish?

This being April Fools' Day, I thought it might do us good to look into the word of God and see what He says about a fool. What we will find as we look into God's word is that the one who is called a fool is often so called when related to matters of his own salvation. In short, we are foolish if we reject the way of God and try to establish our own standard of righteousness. And we will look really foolish on Judgment Day if we have not submitted ourselves to the righteousness of God.

I'm pretty sure none of us would like to be called a fool, or foolish, especially if it's coming from our Creator. A fool is one known for their lack of common sense and their bad judgment and is not one we would seek out for advice. No one wants to be a fool. As we look into God's word, let us examine ourselves to make sure we do not fit the description!

The fool of the Bible is one who:
Says, ‘There is no God!’ (Psa. 14:1) This description alone would cover many today, for it is becoming more and more popular to deny God and explain our own existence in some farfetched terms. If you haven't noticed, more and more "experts" are now moving away from the "Big Bang" theory of creation and are lending more credibility to the idea that some "intelligent being" from another planet or solar system planted the seeds of life here on earth, from which we all evolved. I saw this first in a science-fiction movie called "Hangar 18" about 15 years ago, and it was seen again (with a different twist) in the movie "Mission To Mars." I'm sure most people who saw it thought it was just another sci-fi movie, but there are some so-called scientists out there who believe that it is how we came to exist! (And they say what we believe — that God created it all — is a stretch?)

This should come as no surprise to the believer of God, though; it is just another way to try to explain our existence without acknowledging God. When the evidence for the "Big Bang" theory began to look shakier and less believable, they had to find something else, and it still could not admit the existence of God. This is the mark of a true fool, for he will not admit the obvious and will go to great lengths to avoid doing so. Those who now deny that God exists will look truly foolish on that day when they have to stand before Him and give an account of all the deeds done in the body (2 Cor. 5:10).

The fool of the Bible is one who:
Lays up Treasure for Self and is Not Rich Toward God. (Luke 12:16-21) In this story, a rich man owned fields that yielded plentifully and found he had no room to store his crops. What we read next is a clear indication of why this man was called foolish. When he stopped to consider what he should do, he thought only of himself and what was "his." Just in this short passage, we find 12 uses of personal pronouns referring to himself or what was his. He was selfish!

And because he had no thought for anyone besides himself, God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” (v. 20) In all his planning, he forgot to plan for his own death, and in the end, it didn't matter where the crops would be stored because they were going to be someone else's! For his lack of preparation and because of his selfish thinking, he was condemned by God. He enjoyed much while on earth, but laid up nothing in heaven. For this, he was called a fool by God.

We would do well to consider ourselves in light of this parable, for many of us may be living just as this man, thinking only of the "here and now" and no thought for the hereafter. When we get so focused on this life and what we're going to do for ourselves to make life more comfortable, we will soon forget about the eternity that awaits us and the very real possibility that it will not be a life of comfort, but of eternal torment. We need to be laying up treasures in heaven, and not on this earth, lest we be found a fool.

The fool of the Bible is one who:
Is Right In His Own Eyes. (Prov. 12:15) This fool is the most dangerous of all, for he will not be convinced to change. He lives a dangerous circular life that justifies himself no matter what anyone else may say. If he is headed down the road that dead ends, it does no good to warn him because he is always right. And when he comes to the end of the road, it's not his fault — someone changed it and made him go the wrong way!

And when it comes to spiritual matters, this fool is no less dangerous. This fool follows a certain way of life because he believes it to be right. You can show him the word of God and provide ample evidence for why he must change, but he will just say, "Well, that's just your interpretation!" If he is shown clear contradictions to his belief and practice, he will defend his way to the death, basing it on tradition, personal "experiences," or — worst of all — because he "thinks so."

We must be careful and examine ourselves to see if we, too, are like this fool. It is very easy to slip into traditional practices and teaching without checking it against the revealed will of God. It is easy to do things because many others are doing it, too. It is easy to do something without investigating its truth, relying instead on the word of another for all we believe and do. It then becomes hard to abandon that belief and practice when it is shown to be false or against the will of God, especially if our hearts are not honest.

The fool of the Bible is one who:
Spreads Slander. (Prov. 10:18) This mark of a fool differs from the others we have considered, but it is no less important to consider. Honestly, I believe it has been overlooked far too often and its seriousness ignored. The one who spreads slander is no less a fool than the one who denies God exists!

Slander is defined as the utterance of a false statement that ruins the reputation of another. And, sad to say, it is far too common practice among brethren. If it happens once, it is too often. Slander shows the lack of love for one another that is demanded of all believers (John 13:34, 35), and reveals a bitter heart that is filled with hatred instead. Slander only reveals the heart of the fool, exposing his true feelings that may have otherwise been hidden had he not said these harmful words.

The disciple of Jesus Christ is admonished to “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29) What we say should build up, not tear down.

By Steven Harper

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