“Honor is not fitting for a fool.” We would rather think about wisdom than folly, but the Lord writes about both. What is folly? If wisdom is about holy thinking, speaking, and living, then folly is the bad counterpart of that good life. The fool says in his heart that there is no God, and then he talks and acts accordingly. His pathway is not only fruitless, it is destructive.
But God tells us in Proverbs 26:12 that there is more hope for a fool than for a man who is wise in his own eyes. A new life is possible for anyone who will repent, but the man steeped in error who is so sure that he is right is seriously stuck. He thinks he is healthy so he has no need for anyone to heal him.
Sin poisons the soul, but does the sinner know how dangerous his situation is? If an arrogant man imagines that he is a genius who has great insights that everyone should hear, he will not have the humility to see his own folly. How can anyone avoid this kind of self-deception? Is there some connection between humble activity and clarity of the mind? Could it be that the man who will get out of bed and get to work helping someone else or supporting his family will be more likely to think in ways that are pleasing to the Lord?
The fool, the sluggard, the meddler, the clown, the contentious man, the whisperer, the hateful hypocrite, the flatterer—none of these will bring about the righteousness that God requires of man. Yet such were some of us. But we have been washed by the blood and righteousness of a noble man of integrity. He went about His humble work of obedience with perfect confidence in the promises that God had made to Him and to us. He walked in that blessed assurance. This is what life is like when it is lived in faith. A godly life does not consist in the absence of tragedy. It is the presence of God with us as we keep on going through the challenges of living in a fallen world.
How can we follow this great Savior in godly living? By the grace of God we can hear His Word of encouragement and believe. We can repent of any of the habits of our hearts that are inconsistent with heavenly life. We can ask Him for the daily strength to live a quiet and good life. We can be filled with the Spirit of God and get up each morning to do the good works that God has prepared for us.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our Father, we need great wisdom to know when to speak and what to say. Give us caution and patience, so that we will turn to You and consider. Teach us when to be still, and when to say or do something that might be useful. Grant to us diligence in our duties. Keep us mindful of what You have given us to do, and aware of true opportunities for love and service. Cleanse us from the depths of our being. Take away all scheming and deceitfulness, for these impurities will only work toward our own destruction.