The book of Proverbs has much to say about fools and the foolish things that fools do. Most importantly we can learn how our foolish behavior can have consequences that greatly affect how we live. Let's take a look at what can learn from a few of these verses.
1. A foolish person is one that rambles on and on. They cause their situation to be worse than it should be because they can't keep their mouth shut. A wise person instead listens rather than being a chatterbox. I once heard a quote from someone that said... "It's better to keep quite and appear stupid than to open your mouth and prove it." If we listen we learn and if we do what we learn we grow and become better, but if we think we already know it all and we don't listen... we'll the bible says ruin comes to that person.
Proverbs 10:8 The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
2. Foolish people are slanderous. They say things about people whether true or not, it's hurtful and shouldn't be said of others. I've often said if you don't have something good to say about someone then don't say anything at all. Why is it foolish to be slanderous? Well eventually you will have eat your words or explain your words. If someone hears you say something slanderous about someone else you can be assured that that person you just talked about will hear about it and you will be called out to explain yourself. Only fools put themselves in that position.
Proverbs 10:18 He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
3. Foolish people never seem to listen to good advise. I don't know if it's their pride or if they truly think they already know what's best. But one things for sure, your a fool if you do not seek the good advice or council of others that may have wise advice to give. We have to be willing to listen and make intelligent decisions based off what we have heard, but good advice can save us many headaches. The bible says that a fool feels like he's right and that his way is the best way or only way so he doesn't listen to others.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
4. A fool gets quickly annoyed at others and shows just how annoyed he is in an instant. He just doesn't have the ability to overlook insults, but instead gets quickly offended and this often can lead to quarrels or arguments or even terrible strains on relationships that really could have been avoided if only we hadn't made this thing such a big deal. The challenge is to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Relationships will go easier and often in the end it wasn't that big of a deal anyway.
Proverbs 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
5. Foolish people have nothing to guide their life, they just live life to the fullest without regard for consequences. the bible says they are reckless and hotheaded. Wise people understand the importance of following and obeying God's word. They understand His authority over their lives and because of this they put away evil things and do all they can to avoid evil things. If we'll live in obedience we'll live with less consequences that result in pain and suffering. But to live recklessly is foolish and risky.
Proverbs 14:16 A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
6. Only a fool would ignore the discipline and advice of his father. Sometimes we think our fathers just don't understand us or we think they can be over bearing and too controlling, but in most cases they just love us and want the best for us. To be disciplined is never fun, but we must realize the reason behind it. The bible says a wise mans listens to and obeys the correction of his father, especially when it comes to advice or council on practical matters.
Proverbs 15:5 A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heads correction shows prudence.
7. Foolish people have no desire to learn more, to gain more wisdom. The bible says it's a waste to even put money in the hands of a fool because there is no desire in their heart to do anything worthwhile with it. If we don't have a desire to learn more and do more with what we're given, then what use is the money we've been given. I'm reminded of the parable of the talents. Three servants were given a portion of their masters money while he traveled away. Two of the three servants invested the money they were given and doubled what they had, but one of the servants did nothing but bury his money. When the master returned, the two that increased their money was greatly appreciated and recognized, but the one that did nothing was sternly rebuked... He was a fool and what use was the money in his hands. No use at all.
Proverbs 17:16 Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?
8. Foolish people think their opinion is all that matters. They find no pleasure in trying to understand others, they only feel their way is right and their opinion is what matters. They're so confident in this that they air them out for all to hear without regard for the opinion or interest in what others have to say. The bible says these people are foolish, and even prideful to the point they feel real good about themselves and their opinion and better than others and what they think. Ultimately they feel they're just better and they enjoy it and don't mind saying it.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
9. Don't listen to the advice of a fool. They only think they're wise in their own mind but what they have to say means nothing... it's useless. The example that best describes this is found in the verse itself... it reads:
Proverbs 26:7 Like a lame man's legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10. Only fools get out of control angry. They vent full out on whoever is around them and the end result is in many cases damaged or broken relationships. When we get so angry we rage, we say things that are hurtful without regard to others feelings. We're only focused on own our feelings and pain and we show how little respect or compassion we have for others. It's foolish to put ourselves in this position. A wise man works hard to have self control when he feels like venting out in full anger. It's OK to show our frustration and even our anger, but not to the point that we say or do things in rage.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
We've taken a look at 10 characteristics that foolish people have in common. There are many more listed in the book of proverbs and many of them even build on the sames ones we've mentioned already.
If your like me you can see some of these characteristics in your life as well. The lesson I learned from these verses was that the more I focus on myself the more of a fool I become. In almost every case the fool was prideful, was outspoken and thought more of himself than others. A fool just doesn't want to listen to good advice, but instead feels they already know best.
The key to all of this is to seek God's wisdom and by following His Word and council we will be less focused on ourselves and more focused on His agenda and will for our lives.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus help me to be less focused on myself and more willing to seek Your advice and council for my life through your word and prayer. It's in Jesus name that I pray, Amen.