A Picture of a Fool – Proverbs 10:18

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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For decades, our family has put a large puzzle together over the Christmas season. For us, it is an enjoyable project. It encourages us to take time out of busy schedules to simply spend time together and visit. But there is also a sense of satisfaction as, one by one, pieces of the puzzle are added, and we see a clear picture emerge. In the book of Proverbs, God gives us a clear picture, though an unflattering one, of a fool.

A fool can easily be identified by at least ten characteristics described by King Solomon. A fool “refuseth instruction” to the detriment of his own soul (Proverbs 15:32). He just won’t listen when given wise counsel. The “words of the pure are pleasant words” (15:26) but, the words of “a fool’s lips enter into contention” (18:6-8) and, it is to his own “destruction.” He tends to be looking for trouble and is usually harsh in his words. “He that uttereth a slander is a fool” (10:18). Criticizing others has become his favorite sport. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes” (12:15) and, “it is as sport to a fool to do mischief” (10:23). He seems to always think he is right and that wrong is right. A “fool layeth open his folly” (13:16) and, perhaps he does so because “the fool rageth and is (over) confident” (14:16). As someone once said: “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Proverbs also conveys the concepts that a fool will not heed reproof (17:10), speaks when he should listen (17:28), will be continually “meddling” to stir up strife (20:3) and “uttereth all his mind” (29:11). This sounds like a busybody who delights to gossip continually about others or inserts themself into the affairs of others

As we look carefully at this picture of a fool, we should each ask ourselves if any of these qualities describe us. If so, we should do something about it. Take one or two of these practices you know you need to work on, ask the Lord to enable you to change your pattern, then ask a godly loved one to hold you accountable in this area. In so doing, allow God to transform you.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."