What have you done lately (or in the recent past) that was foolish?
Working with college students elicits a number of stories about young people and other adults that I was privy to. For example:
- A student tried to rob a credit union to help pay for his tuition bill.
- A student took a roommates’ laptop and some cash in his dresser drawer because of an argument they had and tried to pin the blame on another guy down the hall in the dorm. He was discovered to be the culprit and faced disciplinary action.
- A couple of girls got their hands on the answers to an upcoming quiz and passed them around. Their plot to ace the quiz got nixed when they and six other students wrote down the exact same answers and their teaching assistant thought that was too convenient.
- A male faculty member tried to hit on a female graduate student, and to make matters worse, tried to take credit for her research. He was investigated and found guilty.
- An administrator did not like Christians and tried to get a Chi Alpha chapter thrown off campus. His actions contributed to a legal response, which he lost, and he was forced to apologize to the group. I can’t remember if he lost his job over such bullying actions.
I can say I never did anything close to the situations mentioned above (all true, by the way) but I have played the fool at times. I know it can be easy to make poor decisions if your mind and heart are focused on the wrong things.
Proverbs 14:7 says, “Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.” A fool is someone who has mixed up morals, manners, and actions. The Book of Proverbs is full of warnings to avoid the foolish person because he or she will lead us to poor decisions, bad consequences, empty promises of fun, and run-ins with the law.
When you or I act foolishly, we are people that others should avoid. At that time, we are not worthy of respect, trust, or even friendship. To act foolishly is to diminish your witness for Jesus, compromise your integrity, and affect the lives of others negatively.
Read Deuteronomy 32:1-8.
Moses was inspired by God to address the people of Israel as he was preparing to turn over leadership of the Hebrews to Joshua. The people had a history of forgetting the Lord, becoming corrupt, crooked, and acting like fools towards the One True God.
Moses asked them in verse 6: “Is this the way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, your Creator, who made and formed you?” Moses was asking them, how in essence, could they live this way after having known the Lord, the One who rescued them from Egypt, made them a people, and sustained them for so long?
We learn from Israel the consequences of such foolish deeds. If you and I are being foolish, the same question Moses asked Israel in verse six should cause us consternation. Playing the fool is an empty, harmful pursuit. Walk wisely. Foolish ways lead down the wrong path. Read Proverbs for safeguards for not getting caught in foolish behavior.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz