Proverbs 18:2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.

It is hard to get in a word in a conversation with a fool. Even when he asks you a question, he interrupts before you can say much. He must give his opinion, tell his story, listen to his own voice. And all the while he thinks that he is earning your good opinion of him. Surely he must be wise to be able to have an opinion about everything; certainly he must be intelligent to know so much. Of course the truth is that he has revealed his foolishness and ignorance. If only he would heed the counsel of Proverb 17:28 and keep silent; at least then some may mistake him for being intelligent.

It is difficult to help such a fool, due to his being wrapped up in himself. He finds himself entertaining. He likes listening to his voice; his pleasure is in expressing his opinion. If you contradict him, he only talks more in self-defense. If you stay quiet, he interprets your silence as being enrapt with his speech.

Again, the problem of the fool, regardless of his type of folly, is that he loves his folly. Education will not help him. Whatever information and skill he gains, he only turns into means to further his folly. He simply does not like what is wise, what is sensible. Wisdom does not appeal to him. He cannot be reformed. You cannot change him by reasoning with him or scolding him. The only hope is that, like the prodigal son, he will come to his senses on his own; or rather, that the Holy Spirit will do what is necessary to convict him. Pray for the fools you know. Have pity on them and lift them before the Lord.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org