A Foolish Checklist

On Tuesday I wrote about the "foolish woman" described in Proverbs 7. What makes her foolish is mostly the way she interacts with guys. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been known to act a fool around a fella a time or two. But the Bible gives strong warnings about this kind of woman. A foolish woman is someone we should all work hard to avoid becoming.

Proverbs 7 isn’t the only place we find a description of foolishness. In fact, the books of Psalms and Proverbs are loaded with warnings of what foolishness looks likejester in action. Most of these verses also offer a contrasting reality, which is wisdom.

The writer of Proverbs 7 offers this bit of advice, "Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call insight your intimate friend" (v. 4).

We should know wisdom as well as we know our very own siblings. We should keep it as close as we keep our best friends. I suppose, in contrast, we should treat foolishness like that toxic friend who only brings us down—we need to keep our distance. We should work to be so familiar with the face of foolishness that we recognize it when it comes into our lives so we can turn on our heels and run. With that in mind, here is a description of foolishness based on Psalms and Proverbs. If you see any areas where you’ve been living foolishly, stop reading and look up the passage that are mentioned to find out what the wiser choice is.

  • A fool says, "there is no God" (Ps. 14:1, 53:1).
  • A fool loves to be the center of attention and is overly confident in herself (Ps. 49:12–14).
  • A fool despises wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:7).
  • A fool hates knowledge (Prov. 1:22).
  • A fool loves to maintain the status quo/resists change (Prov. 1:32).
  • A fool rebels against and embarrasses her parents (Prov. 10:1, 15:5, 20).
  • A fool talks too much (Prov. 10:8, 14).
  • A fool is a backstabber (Prov. 10:18).
  • A fool thinks doing the wrong thing is funny (Prov. 10:23).
  • A fool is reckless and careless (Prov. 14:16).
  • A fool has a quick temper (Prov. 14:17).
  • A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing her opinion (Prov. 18:2).
  • A fool is always quarreling with those around her, a.k.a. drama queen (Prov. 20:3).
  • A fool spends all she has instead of saving (Prov. 21:20).
  • A fool worships herself (Prov. 30:32).

Based on that checklist, do you treat foolishness like a good friend? Do you let her into your world and let her influence the way you live? Or do you treat wisdom like your bestie and tell foolishness to keep her distance?