How To Spot A Fool

Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.

–Ecclesiastes 10:3

Solomon emphasized the value of wisdom by contrasting wisdom with foolishness. He said in Ecclesiastes 10:1, “Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.” Just as a tiny dead fly can spoil an entire gallon of Chanel No. 5, so a little bit of foolishness can destroy an otherwise successful life. Now, let me be clear: no matter what mistakes you have made, they are not beyond forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. But the blood of Christ will not remove the temporary consequences of your mistakes. God in His wisdom allows us to experience the consequences of our mistakes, even after we experience the full extent of His forgiveness.

So how can we avoid allowing just a little bit of foolishness to destroy our lives? Fortunately, Solomon said foolishness is easily identified. Look at verse 3: “Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.” I want you to notice four ways to spot a fool according to the Bible.

First, a fool neglects God. Solomon’s father, David, said it this way in Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds.” The fool thinks, “There is no God; therefore, I can do whatever I please.” Many people today, even many Christians, live by that philosophy. We formulate our plans and conduct our lives as if there were no God. We can go hours, days, or even weeks without ever thinking, “What does God want me to do in this situation?” But to live your life as if there were no God is foolish.

Second, a fool loves deceit. Proverbs 14:8 says, “The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit.” A fool’s life is characterized by untruth.

Third, a fool laughs at the idea of sin and judgment. Proverbs 14:9 says, “Fools mock at sin.” You will hear them joking about things that should make them blush. They are illustrations of Philippians 3:19, which describes people “whose glory is in their shame.” Instead of being ashamed of sinful things, fools are proud of them.

Fourth, a fool enjoys evil. Proverbs 15:21 says, “Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.” The fool treats sin as a sport. The fool is not somebody who lacks knowledge; he is somebody who lacks moral direction. That is the mark of a fool.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Maxims for Maximum Living” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

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