Do not answer a fool according to his folly;

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Proverb 26:4

Hey, I don’t like what I am becoming! Do you remember the songs: Tell me no more lies! And, I played the fool? That’s what I feel like talking to people these days. And, it’s not just a feeling it is the truth….


Matthew 7:6 says, Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Proverbs 23:9 …Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.

I think I will sit in my house and keep my mouth shut! And, answer no emails. Wonder if I have already become a fool from talking to fools? Now, how not to be a FOOL myself after years of this? Why do I listen to fools and then answer them with God’s Word? This is related to being a Christian. Yes, in church. And, only church. I have heard Christians say so often how they left the church because of this type of thing. All a mystery!

Please I am not looking for answers from anyone. I know exactly where to go. God keeps His door open day and night!

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24 thoughts on “Do not answer a fool according to his folly;

  1. I just came back from a school conference where several speakers spoke on the brain and brain health. One of them, a neuropsychologist, said something which the Lord had revealed to Sara regarding your conscious and unconscious (he used the word ‘subconscious’) thinking a year ago and she had taught on. The speaker told us that ‘if we can make something conscious (for example an emotion like anger), then we can help control it.’ I thought when I heard it…that’s what Sara said! Sara had stressed to those of us listening that this was very important in dealing with behaviors. The speaker stressed the same thing.

  2. Debi, would it not be clearer to say, we then have a choice whether we want to deal with it or not? We may know it and still not deal with it. Right or Wrong? Also, this applies to any negative? Right or wrong?

    Seems like many are conscious but still choose the negative behavior. Another song we probably all know ’round and round and up and down we go.’ I have heard about this song, ‘it just makes you feel so good.’ Round and Round and up and down…..Riding the merry-go-round of life… making a full circle, having a complacency that all we do is go in circles. Then one day something unpleasant happens and knocks us right off our beautiful carousel horse. What do we then do?

  3. The carousel you just wrote of reminds me of something that happened to me in school yard a few years ago, where there was a simple carousel that the children could sit on and use their feet to make it go around and round.
    One day after school I sat on the carousel, moving it gently around with my feet, like the kids do, waiting for a friend to come out of school. Unbeknownst to me that ‘friend” sneaked up and gave that carousel a strong and quick whirl. I went flying off that thing so fast and so hard, into the air and onto the school yard, making big holes in my knee socks, cutting and bruising my knees and legs and hands when I finally landed. (“Something unpleasant” to say the least)….. A merry-go- round sure can send you for a loop when you least expect it.
    Sara. they say when you fall off a horse (or a bicycle) get right back on keep on trying. NOT SO SURE That is good advice for the “merry-go-round” of life.
    Expecting different results each time you get back on is deceiving yourself.

  4. Why do I listen to fools and then answer them with God’s Word? Verse 25 of Proverbs 26, says,”Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.”

  5. Yes, Sara, it would be clearer to say we have a choice to deal with the awareness of something coming to our conscious. The speaker gave the example of anger but said it could be any emotion. And we definitely have a choice in what we do with this awareness. In fact, another speaker, a psychologist from Harvard’s medical faculty, gave some mental health therapy strategies, one of which was ‘committment’, and said they are ‘hard’ to do.
    Based on what I heard from you regarding conscious vs unconscious and others in the medical field, I would say that a committment to deal with what surfaces, and break out of the circle of familiar complacency is necessary to mental and spiritual health.
    I have heard you reference, as well as these brain therapists, that one must give an angry person choices within a specific framework of how to deal with their anger, etc. The person is then empowered to choose a method to deal with it, but not dealing with it not an option in this framwork of choice in order to make a behavioral or mental health improvement. We should take this to heart and apply it to our own lives if we want to be healthier persons. If not and we get knocked off our horse, we may lose an opportunity from which we can never, ever recover.

  6. All this is way over my head. It is interesting to hear and read about info Debi heard at her conference and the Grand Old Opry and its music. Neither will do me any good except to be happy for Debi and her opportunity to hear music she liked. And, hotels and food she enjoyed while she enjoyed a paid for conference from her work to hopefully enhance her quality of work. And, I surely applaud Debi for her success and opportunities.

    Not sure if MG’s comment is funny or sad. Wonder how that looked on a public school playground for a teacher to fly in the air from a ——–? I would say a foolish thing to do.

    This seems to me like being on a basketball team and never leaving the bench. I guess I could say from what little I can glean that I have a choice to stop blogging or keep being in the dark on what is said.

    Needles, where are you? Where are your footnotes to this scripture? Or, both scriptures, vs. 4 and 5? Usually I can understand the simplicity of the footnotes.

  7. Debi writes, “I have heard you reference, as well as these brain therapists, that one must give an angry person choices within a specific framework of how to deal with their anger, etc.” Debi, this is a most interest concept for me to learn.

    I heard it from others, including Needles, in the context of a sick person. For instance, like myself having cancer surgery. I could not control the cancer and being in bed after surgery. But, others could say to me would you like tea or coffee? Would you like the light on or off in your room.That would help me not to feel like I had no control.

    I will try to look at this concept from your point of view of angry. The first thought that comes to my mind, is be angry but sin not, and others:

    Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV) “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
    Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
    Colossians 3:8 (NKJV) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

  8. It seems we open our mouth and out comes anything be it right, wrong or mixed. We don’t even know or care. We never check up on our info and make it right with those we told. Then when they make it right by giving us the correct info, (vs. 5) we don’t even bother to say, “I’m sorry”.

    I wonder where is the graciousness of our language, the heart motivation, the intent of our minds? Do we intend to deceive, lie, confuse? Maybe is what some say, just venting. But how right is venting when it gives wrong info?

    Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV) A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.

  9. “All this is way over my head” is a red flag to me that I am talking with no real application to what matters or can help practically. That sure is being on the bench. I really need to find ways and take steps to be able to get in the game and be a team player with wisdom words that connect instead of foolish ones.

  10. Sara, you are right and I am wrong and sorry for mixing up words and confusing what you gave as an example and someone else. I should stick to things I have some experience with and make sure I give correct info.

  11. Sara wrote, “We never check up on our info and make it right with those we told. Then when they make it right by giving us the correct info, (vs. 5) we don’t even bother to say, “I’m sorry”.

    My husband, Gary, came in from a breakfast with a friend after I wrote this. He told me a story how he had thought he had loaned a tool to this friend. So he asked him and the friend could not remember but was not sure. Gary came home and just someway stumbled on the tool that he had not even seen in the early am. So, he immediately called with apology and to let him know he had found. When my husband shared this the thought (I had just written it and he had not read) came to my mind, 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.John 13:34, 35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” And, John 15, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you… There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

    If we love we would be honest, make a life of integrity our goal and this includes correcting our off the wall talk. Giving bad info, etc. I have even heard others say, ‘oh just forget it, what does it matter.’ In the Kingdom of Light it is THE MATTER!

    Also, it is refreshing to see how it pays off when Gary and I pray together and seek the directives of The Holy Spirit. He gives us the same path of righteousness to stay on. It is joy to have your prayer partner get and act upon the same things you are working on and then share. Jesus is the reason for all our seasons!

  12. “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech. 1Peter 3:8. Sometimes deception is unintended…especially if one has a problem with remembering an incident(S) exactly. When deception is not the motive but a frailty of the mind and memory I suppose that those in the Body of Christ will practice the fruit of the Spirit, long-suffering and patience, bearing up with those brothers and sisters in Christ who are in distress of mind and/or body. Not so much participating in it but bringing to remembrance what the real facts, situation, incident really is. This is a burden, to be sure, on the one(s) bearing up in “long-suffering” but by the Spirit of the living God they can and do bear up under all things.

  13. Dementia…as Mg has mentioned calls for some skill for others to help. First, one has to recognize a person is suffering from dementia and not carelessness. The one with the dementia needs the fruit of the spirit and a heart of gratitude for the love one gives them to help. I have heard some spouses say when they tried to help their spouses with reminders and hearing, etc the one with the disorder can have not real good attitudes. They often think they have not been told with kindness. The healthy spouses said they have never heard thank you regardless of the way its said.

    Maybe we need a blog from some caretakers and/or those that suffer with dementia. I feel sure most people would help if the knew professionally how. I believe the scripture says, “comfort the weak minded.”

  14. In many events I see the devastation of a frail mind and memory… becoming dim & foolish… and the physical pain and suffering that occur when Christians live careless lives. Jesus is our example. Nowhere in any Gospel or Epistle did Jesus conduct His life without focus nor was He careless in any aspect of His some thirty-three years of life on earth before His death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven. He showed us that we must be determined, (“He set His face like a flint”)…He did not jest, foolishly, even though He had the good camaraderie of His Apostles and disciples, hale and hearty followers. He was goal oriented and moved through life with that goal of salvation for me, before His eyes at every turn. Jesus was a devoted Pray-er. If we think we can breeze through the Christian life without praying to the Father, without asking for help from the Holy Spirit and being slip-shod in our prayer life we are going to get a huge surprise at some turn in our lives.
    Those of us who are cavalier about the Christian/faith walk should not expect to get anything from the Lord. James says, “A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his mind about anything”.
    But rather we reap clouded minds and scant memories, sickly bodies and we wonder why God does not heal us. James goes on to say why. “For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. ”
    Gary taught this morning a strong warning that “NOT to pray to our Heavenly father is selfish and unappreciative on our part. It is practical atheism to say we are born again Christians but ignore The Father in our daily lives.”
    We focus on ourselves and ignore the Lord and HIS BODY the Body of Christ, the brothers and sisters for whom Christ died, which is what Sara included in her analysis…THE CHURCH. We could care less….careless!! Talking about “presenting ourselves a living sacrifice” seems far away and remote in many of our lives.
    There is much repentance needed for sins of omission which we ( I )seem to “MISS”….that holds up our getting back on track and clearing up these devastations in our Life before we have to meet the Lord at the appointed time.
    I thank God for the godly, revelatory teachings going forth from This Ministry that tell it like it is whether we like it or not….not as a judgmental delivery but an urgent and loving warning to those of us who live carelessly in our Christian lives. Revelation tells the outcome…” How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow”…..there it is…..in the Word of God…..carelessly and deliciously.

  15. Regarding MG’s comment, ” Sometimes deception is unintended…especially if one has a problem with remembering an incident(S) exactly. ” I think regardless of our frailty, it is a good idea to take ownership of deception or whatever other sin that we or others find operating in us. Often I recall a helpful, guiding teaching of Sara’s that rings in my ears reagrding ownership…”face it, admit it, change it.” My only hope of change is to practice this.

  16. Wisdom is the Spirit of the Lord…that is one of the Holy Spirit’s attributes. Foolishness is the opposite of wisdom and seems devoid of the Spirit so it’s no wonder fools can’t relate to or follow wisdom …they’re like two different animals.
    “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

  17. I think the key to your comment Debo is, ” …it all (wisdom) sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it.”. Maybe the next time we don’t understand something we should pause and see of we ate in step with the Holy Spirit. Has anyone ever wondered?

  18. I’ve wondered and thought that I am missing it…something is not right…where’s my disobedience in this.
    The Message translation form the verse above I Cor 2:14 looks at it this way: “Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.”
    I think there’s got to be a transparency and willingness to listen and be obedient if there’s any open communion.

  19. Sara, you asked me for the footnotes for verses 4 and 5 of Proverbs 26, I believe? Read with me: “These two verses seem to contradict, but they actually are purposely demonstrating the contradiction between reason and folly. A fool remains a fool whether he is answered or not. The wise person has a choice to make depending on what he or she sees is the greatest need of the fool. Some fools don’t deserve an answer because they are clearly not in a mood to listen, and those who try to answer them will simply stoop to their level. There are other situations where common sense says to answer the fool in order to expose his or her pride and folly.”
    Hum, your right Sara, the footnotes seem pretty clear, don’t they?

  20. Yes, Needles, the footnotes make great sense and gives us a sense of happiness and stability in relationships. I think most of us want healthy relationships and this is a great way to enhance them.

  21. It was pointed out to me on an occasion this week, that I do not tell the truth, i.e. “lie”. I think I had begun to get an inkling of this on my own when I wrote above about the ‘careless” Christian walk and talk (*see July 3rd comment) . But this week it came to a head, and hopefully ‘heart’.
    The problem was that I made a statement that was not factual or true but presented it in the ‘guise’ of truth, not thinking before I spoke, using the wrong terminology and blurting it out as though it were ‘gospel’. This was confusing and almost alarming to the hearers. It took me a while to see it and my pattern of exaggeration, whether for attention-getting or shock value or pride/arrogance or even for humor….Then it was pointed out to me in several cases a pattern of which I was not acknowledging which clinched the deal.
    As a Christian lover of the Lord Jesus Christ I want to strive to fashion my steps so that my word can be taken to have integrity. I have vowed to keep a watch on my mouth and speech delivery so that I don’t transgress the truth, twist it, exaggerate it, embellish it or disrespect those with whom I am communicating.
    Sara tells us to face the thing, admit to it and then change it. So now that’s my goal to bring into captivity the words I speak so that they will be pleasing to the Lord….

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