What Kind of Fool Are You?

Jerry F. Bassett
Cottage Grove, Oregon

In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus showed that it is wrong for anyone to call another a fool out of personal maliciousness. Yet, there are some things which in the sight of God are foolhardy and those who do them are therefore identified by God himself as being fools. Further, to show what his word teaches on these things is not to deal maliciously with anyone. Rather it is designed to show men what is foolish and thus to show them how to avoid playing the fool before God. Notice some persons the Bible says are fools.

1. "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God" (Psalms 14: 1). This man is a fool because he denies the very power of his own existence, and the source of every morally and spiritually decent thing known to man. He looks at himself, a living, rational, moral being, and assumes that he came from non-living, non-intelligent, amoral matter. Is it any wonder that such go astray and altogether become filthy? (Psalms 14:3)

2. "Fools make a mock at sin . . . ." (Proverbs 14:9). This man is a fool because he unhesitatingly flies in the face of the authority of Jehovah God before whose Christ he must one day stand in judgment. So doing he afflicts himself with misery, shame, and worst of all, eternal damnation (Matthew 25:41-46).

3. Of the man who spends his life laying up treasure for himself and who therefore forgets to be rich toward God, God says, "Thou fool . . . ." (Luke 12:13-21). He is a fool because he is ungrateful enough to forget that the source of his gain is the very God he ignores. Were it not for God's bountiful hand none of us would have anything to enjoy (James 1: 17). This man forgets that ". . . the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (I John 2:17).

4. But the man who serves God is also "become a fool . . . ." (I Cor. 3:18). That is, this man is a fool in the eyes of the world because he submits to the preaching of the Cross (I Cor. 1: 18). However, in the sight of God he is a humble and profitable servant made worthy of eternal life by the blood of the Lamb.

I ask then, what kind of a fool are you? Of course one may reply that he does not intend to be any kind of a fool. Remember, however, that whether you like it or not, you are going to be thought a fool by someone; either by the world for serving God, or by God for serving the world. Actually, then, it is really a matter of making up your mind as to whose favor you want, the world's or God's.

In view of the facts as to who God is, and what he is, and what he is able to do for man, surely no one but an absolute fool would have any difficulty making up his mind on this question.

February 1967