Five Proverbs about the Wise vs. the Fool
from the Proverbs reading plan
Proverbs 10:8 | Proverbs 10:23 | Proverbs 17:10 | Proverbs 28:26 | Proverbs 29:11
The word “fool” is used at least 40 times throughout the book of Proverbs. In current times, we might call someone a fool when they are silly, ignorant or thoughtless. (“I pity the fool!”) But throughout the Bible, a fool has a much more serious connotation, denoting someone who is morally deficient. A fool has no regard for God’s commands, and no desire to change their ways.
Many proverbs compare and contrast the actions and attitudes of the wise person with those of the fool. Our reading today includes only a small sample, but we see that fools would rather talk than listen, fools think sin is a joke, fools don’t take correction, fools trust only in themselves and fools let everyone know exactly how upset they are when things don’t go their way. In contrast, wise people can receive and understand corrective criticism, taking it to heart. A wise person knows when to lean on others for counsel and when to keep their opinions to themselves.
In our fractured world, we need wisdom more than ever. We don’t need to look far to see the fools in our midst. Rather than being frustrated by the foolish people surrounding us, may we aim to be people of understanding, who walk straight ahead (Proverbs 15:21) rather than getting distracted by all those around us who lack sense.
When you read about the attitudes and actions of the fool, which one(s) stand out to you most and why?
Describe a time when you acted in a foolish way, based on the Proverbs definition. What was the outcome?
Which qualities of the wise person (in today’s proverbs or in earlier days) attract you most? What is one thing you can to this week to grow more wise in this area?