It’s that day again, April Fool’s Day. The day when you shouldn’t believe anything without extensive verification. A holiday of excused dishonesty and reputation-building pranks. The origins of April Fool’s Day are unknown (as noted in this interesting history.com video), but its observation is commonplace throughout the world.
On a day such as this, should I really be writing about a serious topic? Can you take me seriously or am I going to quote 2 Philippians as a source? No, I won’t make up sources and I will be serious – on the topic of being a fool. The Bible speaks quite a bit about foolery and the personification of such in any month of the year. If you are dead set on being an April Fool, here’s how the Bible says you should go about doing it:
1. Just Keep Talking
“A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.” – Proverbs 18:6
No, social media user, the Bible didn’t just tell you to beat up the fool who won’t be quiet. It is saying, however, that fools have a tendency to not be quiet (and possibly a tendency to get beat). There are several other passages that deal with fools talking (Pr.10:10,14; 14:3; 17:28; 18:7; 29:11; 29:20) with the common theme being a lack of discernment regarding when to speak and when to remain silent.
So, if you would prefer to not be a fool, then you will heed James’ admonishment to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19). But if you want to be a fool, just keep talking.
2. Be Assured That You Already Know Everything
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” – Proverbs 18:2
Proverbs 18, bringing the heat again! But this one isn’t a real shocker to anyone. Perhaps the most defining characteristic of a fool is just how smart he thinks he is. To be a fool, you’ll need a heaping dose of pride and self-assurance without any real basis for such things. Again, these characteristics are rebuked throughout Proverbs (10:8; 12:15; 15:5; 17:10,16,24; 23:9; 24:7; 26:4,5,11,12; 27:22; 28:26; 29:9). A fool is always instructing with no willingness to learn. A fool trusts himself over counsel. A fool returns to his folly over and over again.
So, if you would prefer to not be a fool, then you will hear that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”, and you will actually change your ways in response. But if you want to be a fool, be assured that you already know everything.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up
“A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.” – Proverbs 27:3
Solomon couldn’t have known about the phenomenon of internet trolls when he wrote his proverbs. But each of these three steps to being a fool makes you think he’d already met a few. Fools love to stir the pot, mix it up, stoke the fire, etc. A fool views Jesus’ standard of a meek, peace-making life as weak, ineffective life. In fact, Proverbs says elsewhere that “every fool will be quarreling” (20:3). I’d be hesitant to assign causation in either direction between steps 3 and 4 of being a fool, but they are certainly complimentary. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and fools love to quarrel.
So, if you would prefer to not be a fool, then you will take seriously Jesus’ commands to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. But if you want to be a fool, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
4. Reject God and His Ways
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” – Psalm 14:1
The first three steps to foolishness on my list are easily observable. You might have even had someone or several people come to mind as you read through them. I hope you weren’t thinking of me, though I have given some opportunity in each of these areas in the not-too-distant past. This last one is tricky. The problem here is that no human needs to try to do this one – it is the default position of every human who has ever been born, save one – Jesus. So for this one, if you want to be a fool then do nothing. Ephesians 2:1-3 states clearly that all of mankind is naturally dead to the things of God. Humans naturally believe that they might be good enough to go to heaven, or there is no heaven, or the truth is inside us and we need to be true to ourselves, or any other option not consisting of the recognition of God’s holiness, our total corruption and our complete inability to bridge the two.
So, if you would prefer not to be a fool, then respond to the call of Jesus, “come, follow me.” Jesus lived a perfect life, died an unjust death, and then defeated that death through victorious life. He did everything that we could not do: account for our rebellion against God, satisfy God’s just wrath due for that rebellion, conquer death, and ascend into God’s presence. He’s the bridge, the vehicle and the every-breath oxygen of those who are reconciled to God. He now welcomes all who will simply trust that he has done everything and submit to his gracious rule over every aspect of life.
But if you want to be a fool, then keep talking, be assured that you know everything, don’t be afraid to mix it up, and reject God and His ways.
Image By Rameshng