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How To Answer A Fool

If some foolish person picked up some dung and threw it at you, should you:

(a) co-operate with the fool by catching the dung (i.e. letting it "get to you") and throw it back at the instigator (or is that, in-stink-ator?), thereby, in deliberately catching, in order to retaliate with it (i.e. making it your excuse to repeat the fool's behavior), make yourself as dung-covered as the person who first threw it?

(b) avoid the piece of dung that the fool threw at you, but then pick up your own piece of dung and throw it at the first-flinger, thereby, in retaliating with the dung that you "went out of your way" to pick up, making yourself as dung-covered, with your own dung, as the person who first threw their piece of dung at you?

(c) avoid the piece of dung that the fool threw at you, neither "letting it get to you" by catching it, nor "going out of your way" to produce more to throw back, thereby keeping yourself clean - and instead feel sorry for the fool who was making their own body, and mind, dirty by playing with dung?

The Biblical answer is (c).

"2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." (1 Peter 2:15-16 KJV)

"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words"

Who benefits most when you don't accept a fool's invitation to be a fool?

When you disregard a fool's taunt, you are accomplishing two good things. First, you are not fueling the fool's behavior, thereby aiding and abetting their "work of iniquity" (see below). Secondly, and more important to you, you are not making a fool of yourself, thereby putting your salvation in danger i.e. "13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:20 KJV).

The Holy Scriptures

"5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity." (Psalm 5:4-5 KJV)

"18:7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul." (Proverbs 18:7 KJV)

Until such time that the fool is ready to repent, what does responding to a fool get you? Shame and damage on yourself.

"9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. 9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee." (Proverbs 9:6-8 KJV)

"23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words." (Proverbs 23:9 KJV)

"26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." (Proverbs 26:4 KJV)

"2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes" (2 Timothy 2:22-23 KJV)

"7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6 KJV)

The difference between wisdom and foolishness is like the difference between light and darkness. Ironically, the most foolish thing in the mind of a fool is the thought of stopping their foolish behavior i.e. "it is abomination to fools to depart from evil."

"1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)

"10:8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall." (Proverbs 10:8 KJV)

"10:14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction." (Proverbs 10:14 KJV)

"10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom." (Proverbs 10:23 KJV)

"12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. 12:16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame." (Proverbs 12:15-16 KJV)

"13:19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil." (Proverbs 13:19 KJV)

"14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." (Proverbs 14:8-9 KJV)

Jesus Christ listed foolishness with adultery, fornication and murders.

"7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23 KJV)

Foolish behavior is not a terminal condition, unless the fool makes it one by failing to repent in their due time.

"1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." (Proverbs 1:22-23 KJV)

"8:5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. 8:6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things." (Proverbs 8:5-6 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is "strife"? What should we do, and not do, to not become involved in it?
See Striving For Strife

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