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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?
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).
"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)
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)
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)
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)
Fact Finder: What is "strife"? What should we do, and not do, to not become involved in it?