Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 26
Verse 4-5: “4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
Today's gold nugget is one
of my favorites because it reminds me not to be limited by my natural perspective.
Which should we follow? Verse 4's instruction to give no answer to a fool or verse
5's instruction to answer a fool? It boils down to your motive and what the end
result might be. Through wisdom, you will be able to have a good understanding of
what the response might be if 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 might be. If someone is speaking foolishness and there is the potential that they would receive your correction, then you have an opportunity and obligation to instruct in wisdom. Also, weigh out the potential for bystanders to be led away with a fool's folly. For the others benefit, you may need to speak up in gentleness, even if the foolish person himself is closed-minded.
Lord, today may present situations where people are speaking foolishness. Give me the wisdom to know whether I should speak or remain silent. If I should speak, give me the boldness and courage, together with gentleness to speak words of wisdom. If I should remain silent, give me the self-control to do so. Amen
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