Let’s be honest—being foolish often looks like more fun than being wise. The stereotypical wise person is old, gray, stern, and sits around thinking deep thoughts all the time. Boring. A fool, though, is typically young and pretty. She says and does whatever she wants whenever she wants. Sounds freeing, doesn’t it? I took a look in the Proverbs for tips on how to become foolish, just in case I wanted to try it. Here’s what I found:
- Be a mocker. This kind of fool makes fun of God and all forms of goodness. He’s haughty and insulting. Doesn’t bother to watch his tongue at all. A good example is the thief on the cross—not the one who repented and sought salvation from Jesus, but the one who, with his dying breaths, hurled insults at the only One who could’ve saved him. Hmmm. It doesn’t appear his mocking tongue served him so well in the end.
- Be a rebel. This type of fool goes her own way no matter how many of those deep-thinking wise people give her good advice. She’s hardhearted and hardheaded. If she wants to do something, she does it, regardless of the consequences. An example of this fool is Solomon’s son and successor, Rehoboam. The people promised Rehoboam that if he’d lighten the workload Solomon had put on them, they’d serve him faithfully. The gray-haired wise men advised Rehoboam to do what the people asked, but Rehoboam’s buddies told him to make the people work even harder—just to show he was a bigger Big Dog than his daddy. Rehoboam liked that idea. He told the people their work under Solomon was nothing to what they’d have to do under him. The people rebelled, and there went most of Rehoboam’s kingdom. Not such a great outcome for this fool, either.
- Be Godless. This type of fool totally closes his mind and heart to God. In his arrogance, he decides that he’s the definer of the universe and that no God can tell him how to live. An example of this fool is a man whose name literally means fool, Nabal. When David, whose men had protected Nabal’s sheep, requested food for his men, Nabal insulted God’s anointed. Nabal refused to acknowledge God’s provision for him through David. If not for Nabal’s wise wife Abigail, who acted quickly to soothe David’s rage, Nabal’s entire household would’ve been slaughtered. Though David spared Nabal for Abigail’s sake, God struck the fool dead for his foolishness. Guess Nabal found out he wasn’t the center of the universe after all.
- Be simple. This fool believes whatever anyone tells her without stopping to find out if what she’s being told is right. To her, anybody’s opinion is the absolute truth. An example of this fool is the young man the Proverbs says is “lacking sense.” Momma advises. Daddy instructs. Wisdom calls. The adulteress beckons. And the simpleton, too stupid to realize he’s headed straight for his death, takes the path to the adulteress’s house. Another bad end for yet another fool.
Okay, being foolish doesn’t sound so great after all. Good thing the Proverbs teach the way of wisdom as well. Basically, study the paths of foolishness…and do the opposite.