Much like yesterday's summary, it boils down to your motive and what the end result will be. Through wisdom, you will be able to have a good understanding of what the potential response will be should you take objection with a fool's folly. Will he reject your response as foolishness? If you know without doubt that the foolish person will reject your wisdom as foolishness, why provoke him? Wouldn't that be foolish? If so, then you have answered a fool with foolishness, and become like him. 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Remember what Paul wrote to Titus "But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless." Titus 3:9
Concerning Verse 5, "Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes." There is a time when someone who is speaking foolishness should be answered. Again, through wisdom, you will be able to have a good understanding of what the potential response will be should you take objection with a fool's folly. If someone is speaking foolishness and there is the potential that they would receive your correction, then you have an opportunity instruct in wisdom. If you do not correct or instruct when the opportunity for it to be received is open, he will think himself wise in his own eyes. Why let a fool continue in his folly if you can enlighten him? Also, weigh out the potential for bystanders to be led away with a fool's folly. For their benefit, you may need to speak up in gentleness.