15 Fools believe every word they hear,
but wise people think carefully about everything.
16 Wise people are careful and avoid trouble;
fools are too confident and careless.
17 A quick-tempered person does stupid things,
but it is also true that people don’t like anyone who quietly plans evil.
18 Fools are rewarded with more foolishness.
Smart people are rewarded with knowledge.
Proverbs 14: 15-18 Easy to Read Version
Today is April Fool’s Day, a day when many people try to fool their friends and neighbors-all in the name of good fun! Sometimes the results are quite humorous. One woman kept and flattened all her Amazon boxes, and on April Fool’s Day, she taped them ALL back together, and had them piled up all over the front porch when her husband arrived home from work! Clever and harmless, perhaps resulting though in a slight rise in blood pressure for the husband.
Yet there is a difference between harmless tomfoolery like April’s Fool jokes, and those who are actually fools. The scriptures generally reserve the term “fool” for those who make unwise choices, over-react, sometimes with anger, and then, suffer the negative consequences.
Here, the foolish are criticized for being gullible, rather than skeptical. The trouble with believing everything you hear is that much of the information which comes to us can be slanted, partial, misleading, or even dead wrong. It’s like the game telephone, when one person says something to someone else. By the time it gets to the other end of the room, it is a whole new phrase. The foolish may even believe sources do not matter, and that they are smarter than everyone else. The wise know that information is only as good as the source.
Foolish people are characterized by a certain reckless bravado. They take chances, and throw caution to the wind. They believe their own PR. Sometimes, they even believe they can do no wrong. Yet such overconfidence can lead to missteps, and sometimes, even disaster. How many people have been injured, or even killed, because they over-estimated their abilities to survive foolish stunts, or engage in daring athletic pursuits?
A wise, humble, and thoughtful approach yields better results. Hence, it is the “wise choice” to be careful. Plan ahead, and take the time to avoid trouble. As they say, the best way to get out of trouble is to avoid it in the first place!
It is easy to be foolish at one point or another in our lives. However, one of the most sobering aspects of foolishness is that some people do not learn from their foolish mistakes. Believe it or not, but they repeat them! Hence, Proverbs states that “Fools are rewarded with more foolishness.”
Conversely, making wise choices and being patient often leads to greater wisdom. For with each foolish choice, one can learn. Likewise, for each wise choice, one can also learn. It is our responsibility to learn and discern the wise path, which is the essence of wisdom.
Enjoy this silly foolish April Fool’s Day! Laughter is always good for the spirit. Yet also remember: we must always work to commit ourselves to find greater wisdom-God’s wisdom-each and every day of our lives.
God of all wisdom,
It is tempting to listen to voices which sound knowledgeable, saying exactly what we want to hear. To believe such voices without reservation can be the easy path. Forgive me when I listen to the world around me, more than I listen to You. Save me from such foolish tendencies. I do not want to miss out on the guidance and wisdom You have in store for me. Help me to be a person of patience and good judgment, so that others are not led away from You, but towards You. Guide me to follow Your Son, who is always the Way, the Truth and the Life. I pray this prayer in His holy name. Amen.