When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest. ~Proverbs 29:9 NASB
Famed American author Mark Twain once remarked, “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Who is a foolish person, according to the scriptures? In the book of Proverbs, fools are described as those who:
- despise wisdom and instruction (1:7)
- hate knowledge (1:22)
- are complacent (1:32)
- display dishonor (3:35)
- bring grief to their mother (10:1)
- spread slander (10:18)
- die for lack of understanding (10:21)
- think of wickedness as a sport (10:23)
- will serve the wise (11:29)
- can’t conceal their anger (12:16)
- proclaim and display folly (12:23, 13:16)
- bring harm to their companions (13:20)
- tear down their own household (14:1)
- mock at sin (14:9)
- are arrogant and careless (14:16)
- are quick-tempered (14:17)
- reject their father’s discipline (15:5)
- despise their mother (15:20)
Proverbs 29:9 correctly predicts that a fool will either rage or laugh when his inferior knowledge or intellect are exposed. He cannot win on the merits of his position, and he knows it. He resorts to deflection by way of an angry tirade or laughing, as if his opponent’s position is completely absurd.
Arguing with a fool is a complete waste of your time. Fools lack integrity. There can be no constructive conversation with them until they repent of their folly. Indeed, there is no rest.
Have you ever been the fool? Ponder today whether or not the Lord ever looks at you as displaying the character flaws listed above. Give thanks to your heavenly father for his forgiveness and mercy as you seek godly wisdom today.