August 7, 2011

Playing the Fool


fool, noun, a person lacking in judgment or prudence.

No one likes to be considered a fool and it is understandable why.  Most would hesitate to label another as a fool for fear of being judged as such; this is prudent for sure.  However, at some point honesty must win the day and you have to admit, if only to yourself, that you may be dealing with a fool.  Have you ever been in this situation?

For the believing soul, being labeled as a fool is a most grievous of indictments, cutting to the heart of motivation and character.  Consider the words of the psalmist,

The fool says in his heart, "There is no G-d." 
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
~Psalm 14, Psalm 53

It is a not a one-time event that would warrant the label of fool.  It would seem that it would be a habit, a way of life, a constant pattern of behavior that would lead to such a determination.  To act as if choices, actions and words are not known to the Almighty is foolish, indeed.  For the One who knows the hearts of all men, it must grieve Him greatly to see those acting as if there is no consequences, no Judge; even more so if they profess belief.  The verse above goes on to describe the behaviors of a fool; corruption which would include the heavy-handed misuse of authority and abominable deeds done with bad intent such as character assassination, slander and coercion, perhaps for the sake of self-preservation or gain.  No fool is known for their good deeds, love or wisdom, it would seem. The fool puts his head on his pillow each night with no thoughts of sadness for what he has done nor regret over the pain he has caused. For the fool truly thinks that his goals justify the means and that there is no higher authority. There just doesn't seem to be any source of accountability for the pitiable fool.

The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool
~Proverbs 10

Some fools even have the added luxury of personal protectors, those eager to defend the fool and his bad behavior, jumping to their defense without hesitation or counsel. I have to believe they would make such drastic moves only if they were trying to preserve something they held quite dear, even sacred. I wonder - are these souls also thinking that there is no G-d to which they will have to give account, or are they simply ignorant of the fool's true motives? I'd actually like to give them the benefit of the doubt, surprisingly; I feel sorry for them on that day when it is clear they have been duped. (Interestingly enough, to be a dupe is also another definition of the word fool.)

Scripture talks about a day when what is good is considered evil, and what is evil is considered good.  I tremble at these words,

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, 
who put darkness for light and light for darkness, 
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 
~Isaiah 5

When I read the words of the prophet, I have to ask myself if what I consider good is, in fact, truly good (as I certainly don't want to experience whatever 'woe' may entail). If not, am I acting for my own comfort or profit? Am I sustaining something that is, in reality, a farce or worse? Am I placing the well-being and protection of a man or an institution higher than that of the Holy One of Israel? Am I willing to compromise my values, my character or my faith for the sake of preserving something that may not be worthy of preserving in the eyes of HaShem?

For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, 
to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the LORD, 
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, 
and to deprive the thirsty of drink. 
~Isaiah 32

I pity the fool, for it would seem that he is so caught up in his own schemes, having to remember his own lies and keeping others in the dark that he is unable to see the danger of his ways. He is so busy with his own motives that he has no time to attend to the needy nor good deeds to glorify the Father. Unfortunately, to continue to walk as 'if there is no G-d' is like living on borrowed time, for none of us knows the number of our days.

To the fool, the one who acts as if there is no accounting to the Holy G-d, I urge, "Repent now!  For your actions will only end in sin, sorrow and pain." For myself, I humbly bow before the LORD and ask Him to show me my own unrighteousness and sin so that I may beg forgiveness and always bask in His love and presence, having the privilege of His salvation, guidance and protection all of my days.  May it be that I never, nor any of my close companions, be considered as a fool.


Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence.
~Will Henry

4 comments:

Netanya said...

Very well put! May we all constantly examine ourselves so we do not fall in to this category.

Ari C'rona said...

Wow! Being a fool, especially according to the Biblical definition, is something I really want to avoid. May the Master show me anything in my life that even remotely leans that way and remove it from me.

Well crafted, my friend!

Your Friend said...

Also in Proverbs it says that,"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, and the rod of correction driveth it far from him." This says to me in this day that those who act as fools were somehow lacking in how they were raised and educated.
To call someone a fool is a serious accusation if only because it presupposes that we know the heart of that person. That is best left to the Creator. We need to spend our time overcoming our own foolish traits and become more like Him.
You're a bright young women Hendel and as far from being foolish as anyone I have known. Stay your course! :-)

Mama Cache said...

"He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm."

My prayer for you is that the Lord will always give you wise companions with whom to walk, and that your companionship will continue to be sought after for that same wisdom as you walk with Him. What precious friendship is born in this!

Thankful for you, my dear friend.