Have you encountered any fools lately?
I know, I know. The Bible teaches us to beware of calling other people fools. Unfortunately we either seem to ere on one side or another of that command.
Either we think that means we’re going to be zapped immediately if we dare label anyone a fool and so we tiptoe around the fools in our lives or we completely ignore the admonition and just go around calling anyone and everyone who gets in our way a fool.
Neither is wise.
But it is wise to come to terms with the fact that there are indeed some fools out there. If there weren’t, the Bible wouldn’t have so much to say about them. And it does have a lot to say about fools — how to keep from being one, how to spot one, how to deal with them.
Indeed, most of us have a fool or two in our lives. Some of us have the misfortune of being married to one, raising one, being raised by one, working for one, or having one work for us. In other words, some of us have to deal with a fool on a day-in-day-out basis. We love a fool…as crazy as that may sound.
I use the term “us” loosely here. So far, I have not loved a fool. That could change any day now, I suppose. But so far so good. (I did work for one once, but she is long gone and that is another story for another blog post.)
Recently my daughter had to contend with a fool in her life for quite a spell of time. Because my teenaged daughter was dealing with a fool, I was too. She’s my daughter, hear me roar!
Dealing with a fool is unlike any other dilemma I’ve ever faced. You see, they don’t play on a level playing field. They don’t abide by the normal rules of etiquette, truthfulness, civility, or fair play. They don’t think like normal people. And all the time they’re behaving abnormally, they’re telling you that you’re the abnormal one and swearing up and down that they are as normal as it gets. Lord help!
And indeed He does.
The Bible really does tell us how to relate to fools. If you live with a fool, work with a fool, go to school with a fool, interact with a fool, I suggest you stop trying to treat your fool the same way you treat everyone else. It won’t work. It just leads to frustration and defeat.
Instead, learn to deal with your fool the way the Bible says. Let me give you a little glimpse into what the Bible says to do about a fool:
or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.