What Kind of Fool are You?

On April 1st this year I was thinking back to my childhood and the ways we would try to play tricks on our family, teachers and friends on what’s known in Britain as ‘April Fools’ Day’. Even the BBC entered into the joke years ago when they produced a spoof item in their Panorama programme about a ‘spaghetti growing’ farm in the Italian part of Switzerland. Many people were taken in by it, as they watched the ‘spaghetti’ being picked off trees, dried in the sun and then eaten! It made me realise how easily we can be deceived.

I went on to think about what the Bible has to say about fools. There are those who say in their hearts that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). While those of us reading this would probably not deny the existence of God, and therefore fall into this category of fool, I wonder how often we’ve felt God’s not there in a particular situation; that there’s no God there to heal us, to deliver us from fear, or to lift us out of the pit that we seem to be in. The Bible calls that foolish, when we have all the promises of God in His word to rely on.

Other types of fool mentioned include those who find pleasure in evil (Proverbs 10:23); those who do what pleases them and think that their way is right (Proverbs 12:15); those who trust in themselves or in man’s effort (Proverbs 28:26, Galatians 3:1,3); and those who are ‘chattering fools’ (Proverbs 10:8) – indulging in gossip, criticism, unkind talk, lewd jokes, and blasphemous talk.

There’s also the parable that Jesus tells of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The foolish ones knew that the bridegroom was coming and had lamps, but they had no oil when they needed it. This shows that just knowing about Jesus is not enough – we need to be ready for Him at all times and full of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise we’ll be like the foolish virgins with no oil when we need it!

Other foolish people mentioned in parables include those who hear the words of Jesus but don’t put them into practice (Matthew 7:24-27), and those who store up possessions, thinking that they can then take it easy, but aren’t rich towards God (Luke 12:16-21).

I hope that none of us will be foolish in any of these ways. However, there’s one kind of fool mentioned in the Bible that we should emulate. Paul speaks of being ‘fools for Christ’ (1 Corinthians 4:10). Paul tells us: ‘God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong’ (1 Corinthians 1:27). That’s us! Chosen by God to confound the world’s wisdom! That’s the kind of fool I want to be. What about you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me. Help me to be a fool for Christ, and to be used by You to confound the wisdom of the world. Help me not to be foolish in any other way. Amen.

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"The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV


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Today's Writer

Jilly Lyon Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.

Jilly Lyon Taylor

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