Sent:  July 17, 2002

Subject:  Who is a Fool?

Dear Ethan & Emily:

No one likes to be called a “fool.”  It is one of the most demeaning and derogatory words we can use, and we usually restrain ourselves from using it, as we seem to know intuitively that it is a very “serious” word.  God is also very selective as to the use of this word, but He is quick to use it where it applies.

I have done a quick word study today to better define this word.  In God’s sight, a “fool” is…

any “man (or woman) who commits adultery.”  In fact, God refers to such a person as an “utter” fool. (Prov. 6:32)

a person who claims to have “faith” but whose life shows no “good deeds” (James 2:20).  In this passage, James left no doubt about his position when, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he exposed hypocritical practices in the early church:  “Fool!  When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?”

Moreover, a “fool” is…

any person who “slanders” others. (Prov.10:18)

anyone who finds “fun” in “doing wrong.” (Prov. 10:23)

a “quick-tempered” person (Prov. 12:16) and one who gives “full vent to anger.” (Prov. 29:11)

a child who “despises his parent’s discipline.” (Prov. 15:5)

any person who does not seek truth but “feeds on trash.” (Prov. 15:14)

a “proud” person and anyone who “plots evil.” (Prov. 30:32)

anyone identified as a “rebel.” (Prov. 17:21)

a “dishonest” person. (Prov. 19:1)

one who does not learn from mistakes but repeats his or her “folly.” (Prov. 26:11)

a person who thinks only about “having a good time now.” (Eccl. 7:4)

anyone who would put his or her faith in an “idol” and “make his own god.” (Is. 44:10)

an insincere giver, one who gives mindless offerings to God.”  (Eccl. 5:1)

a person characterized as a “blabbermouth.” (Eccl. 5:3)

and…finally a “fool” is anyone who works at storing up earthly wealth at the expense of having a “rich relationship with God.” (Luke 12:21)

So…let the world call me a “fool” for taking a stand for God…I don’t care!  But I don’t want to be a “fool” in God’s eyes.  My heart’s desire and conscious commitment is that I will live my life in such a manner that God will never have to use that word to get my attention.  May that be true of you as well.

I love you.  Have a wonderful day…