Monday, August 14, 2017

"The Portrait of a Fool"

Continuing study of Wisdom.
1)  Common definition = knowledge, insight, discernment, good sense, good judgment.
2)  Eastern tradition (from which Scripture comes) adds one who applies these things to practical (everyday) living.  Right thinking AND right acting!! - "skilled at life"
3)  Biblical View = adds to Eastern tradition - one who does this according to God's word, will, revelation.
head => heart => hands according to God's will

IF all Wisdom finds it's source in God, THEN the wise man seeks, follows obeys HIM.

Question:  What's the opposite of "wise man"?  Answer = Fool - Proverbs = Wisdom literature.  Only find two kinds of people - wise and fool.   No middle of the road.

Biblical definition:  A fool is not stupid, ignorant, unlearned.
                             A fool = one who had disdain of God's laws (and disdain for the morals and ethics set forth in God's laws) ie:  the way we are to live and not live.

A fool is not one who doesn't know right and wrong (should and shouldn't do)
A fool is one who knows but chooses to ignore, deny what he knows.

A fool is not one who is intellectually deficient
A fool is one who is morally deficient

Because in Biblical understanding, what's right is also good - beneficial, helpful, conducive to proper living and well being.  The wise man chooses that.
Thus, what's wrong is detrimental to life and well being, and only a fool would choose that.  Is a practical outcome issue.

Have looked at "The Portrait of a Fool" (from Proverbs) in the past.  Today ... a shortened version.

1st. note the difference in being a fool and acting like a fool - example - Solomon in his latter years.  Chose to ignore the wisdom he had been given.
The point of Proverbs is not to show you to be a fool, but to help you SEE and SHUN foolish behavior!

I.  The fool ignores truth, despises correction and hates rebuke.
Prov. 12:1 = without moral character & uninterested in being taught.
the fool is NOT unlearned but = unconcerned!!  Therefore, he despises correction!  Prov. 1:7, 15:5
Contrast the wise man - Prov. 12:15, 13:10, 15:31-32  listens to, considers what others think.

II.  The fool is self-confident, proud and wise in his own eyes  - Prov. 3:7
On one hand, there is a place for pride, self confidence.  However, this is beyond healthy!!!  Rom. 12:3

EXAMPLE:  Study Sheet:

Almost all drivers consider themselves better than the average driver.

70% of High School students described themselves as above average leaders.

(1977)  94% of college professors believe their teaching skills are above average.

Called illusory superiority, or pseudo-exceptionalism - most prevalent in North America (US & Canada)

Studies shown the most incompetent are the most likely to overestimate their skills!!!

Compare:  Ace performers are the most apt to under-rate themselves.  (exception = people depressed, anxiety)
North Americans = Kings and queens of overestimation!!

Why:  (examples:)  got Bachelor's Degree - thought I knew everything
                            got Master's Degree - thought I knew nothing
                            got PHD - not only did I know nothing, realized nobody knew anything!!

 Quote:  "I wish I could buy him for what he's worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth!!"
Prov. 28:26, Prov. 26:12 - why no hope?  Because, cannot be corrected.
Therefore, cannot be improved.  Therefore, continues in his error.  Prov. 26:11

Above = 2 primary traits of the fool.  Now, consider one more.

III.  The Fool (practically, everyday living sense) denies God
Psm. 14:1 - not a verbal denial, but a practical denial.

Not that "no God exists", but = "no God involved!!  concerned!!
Therefore, are no boundaries, no judgments, NO WORRIES!!! - Prov. 14:16

IF it is wise to consider man's counsel, how much wiser is it to consider God's counsel???

We have 1) the external, objective counsel - HIS WORD
AND 2) the internal, subjective counsel - HOLY SPIRIT
The wise person pays attention to both.

Closing:  Prov. 4:5-9
We as Americans should give serious, serious consideration to these words.


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