Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
We may wonder how a person can play the fool, acting and speaking in embarrassing ways. The answer: he enjoys it. Most often he thinks he is demonstrating his sophistication or coolness or daring spirit. He enjoys the attention he gains, even if it is notoriety. What matters is being in the spotlight. He may get his kicks out of shocking others, thinking that he is making fools out of them. Whatever the reason, motivation is the pleasure, even the “high” that he gets from folly.
The person of understanding walks straight ahead, not distracted nor tempted by the follies of others. And what is he walking to? The heavenly city, the glorious prize, eternal joy. He is keeping his eyes on his Savior. He walks, not rejecting joy, but finding his joy in his Lord and Savior. He rejects the joy of the fool because it is vaporous and sin-filled. It is a joy that harms and blinds. It is a joy that would shame his Lord. The wise person’s joy is in honoring his Lord.
And so the fool and the person of understanding move along motivated by joy. Who gets the better deal?
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org