Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 Characteristics of Foolish Behavior

The Bible gives us a clear picture of foolish behavior and its consequences. It’s important for us to recognize these traits in others—and in ourselves. Dealing appropriately with people who behave foolishly requires prayer and wisdom. But remember, that foolish person is not in your life by accident, and you can by God’s grace respond to him or her in a Christ-like manner.

Characteristics of Foolish Behavior

1. Denying, disregarding, or rebelling against God
The fool says in his heart “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

2. Slandering, lying, deceiving
He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool (Proverbs 10:18).

3. Quick-Tempered
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted (Proverbs 12:16).

4. Acts Impetuously and Without Regard for Consequences
Wise people think before they act; fools don’t and even brag about it! (Proverbs 13:16).
A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless (Proverbs 14:16).

5. Talks endlessly, brags, spouts off frequently
A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions (Proverbs 18:2).
Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin (Proverbs 10:14).
The mouths of fools are their ruin; their lips get them into trouble (Proverbs 18:7 NLT).

6.  Refuses Advice, Accountability and/or Discipline
A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence (Proverbs 15:5).

A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool (Proverbs 17:10).

7. Handles Money Recklessly
Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom? (Proverbs 17:16).
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has (Proverbs 21:20).

8. Quarrels frequently, picks fights, is contentious
Fools get into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating (Proverbs 18:6 NLT).

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control (Proverbs 29:11).

9. Lazy, Lacks Focus and Ambition
Foolish people refuse to work and almost starve (Ecclesiastes 4:5).

A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now (Ecclesiastes 7:4 NLT).

Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they have no strength for even the simplest tasks (Ecclesiastes 10:15 NLT).

10. Never Learns from Past Experience
As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly (Proverbs 26:11).

You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle (Proverbs 27:22 NLT).

How are we to respond to foolish behavior?

1. First and most importantly, we pray for them.
 
2. Second, watch your attitude and motivation toward these foolish people

Principle #1 – Don’t be surprised if they refuse good advice.
Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice (Proverbs 23:9 NLT).

Principle #2 – Don’t give them honor or luxury.
It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury – how much worse for a slave to rule over princes! (Proverbs 19:10).

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool (Proverbs 26:1).

Principle #3 – Don’t argue with foolish people.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Tim. 2:23-24).

Principle #4 – Protect yourself from the resentment and anger caused by foolish people.
A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is heavier than both (Proverbs 27:3 NLT).

Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips (Proverbs 14:7).

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