Who, me?#9. “A Fool…?”

Who, me?#9. “A Fool…?”

Many Christians have a strange relationship with the word, “Fool.” Though they may think it, or even mutter it under their breath, they daren’t say it out loud because of these words from Jesus:
“Whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell” (Matthew 5:22).

Which behoves us all to contemplate why Jesus’ warnings against such an insult is so severe.

A good place to begin is to ask, “If a fool is a fool in the eyes of God and man, then surely, we are just playing with words by calling him something else?”

You cannot read the Book of Proverbs without concluding that some men are fools and that they will more than likely stay that way—that is a Biblical reality!

Even the Psalmists say twice:
“The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good”
(Psalm 14:1; 53:1).

However, it is one thing for a man to live as though irredeemable before God, and another thing for us to treat him that way.

The reason that Jesus is man’s only Judge is that he wrote the Law Book. The moment that we give ourselves permission to write the laws defining what a “fool” is, is the moment we set ourselves up as judge, jury, and executioner. That explains the reason that Jesus classifies such “Judgemental attitudes” under “Murder” (Matthew 5:21-26).

Words matter. They solidify ideas in our heads and hearts.

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37), is Jesus warning us to count our words— “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34).

Fools and foolishness abound in this sinful world. Peter points us to the solution:“For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15).

John Staiger

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