Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot (v.8).
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” —Mark Twain
A well-known humorist of the 19th century, Twain wielded his biting wit to expose the ills in humanity. Oftentimes, though, his ideas simply echoed the truth already revealed in Scripture. Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Headstrong and rebellious, foolish people don’t care about the holiness of God or the hearts of other people. Willfully disobedient, they live for themselves and believe they can get away with their sin.
As believers, we’re called to walk in obedience (and thus avoid the path of the fool), but we are also called to take a stand for truth. To not act as a fool includes understanding the power and holiness of God and making decisions that line up with His righteousness.
• appoint a fool to a place of honor (26:1,8).
• trust a fool with important tasks (vv.6,10).
No matter how impressive the individual, we diminish the awesomeness of God when we applaud those who live in open disobedience to His Word. No amount of talent or gifting can cover up sin. Refusing to honor a fool doesn’t mean being dismissive or unkind, but it does mean calling things for what they are because we understand the glory of who God is.
Read Proverbs 14:7 to see other characteristics of fools and to understand how we should respond to them.
What aspects of our society’s adulation of pop-culture figures could be compared to the honoring of fools? How is the honoring of a fool the displacement of truth?