Saturday, March 30, 2013

Amazing Love How Can It Be That Christ, A King, Would Die For Me

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted, You were condemned
I'm alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted, you were condemned 
I'm alive and well
your spirit is within me
because you died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be?
that you, my king. would die for me
Amazing love, i know its true
it's my joy to honor you 
Amazing love how can it be? 
that my king would die for me
Amazing love I know its true
its my joy to honor you 
In all I do 
I honor you

I'm forgiven because you were forsaken
I'm accepted, you were condemned 
I'm alive and well 
your spirit is within me
because you died and rose again

Amazing love how can it be
that you , my king would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
it's my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
that you, my king, would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
it's my joy to honor you 
In all I do I honor you 

You are my king 
You are my king
Jesus, You are my king
Jesus, You are my king

Amazing love, how can it be?
that you, my king, would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
it's my joy to honor you
Amazing love, how can it be?
that you, my king would die for me 
Amazing love I know its true
it's my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you 
In all I do honor you 
(sung by Chris Tomlin)

http://youtu.be/EwoCbcSXlSM

Awesome song and it is so full of the truth of what our Lord Jesus Christ does for us when we choose to trust Him with our lives.

I was just talking to someone a few minutes ago who said that "a salvation that is so easy and free to procure probably isn't worth the words spoken or the paper it is written on. Nothing is free in this life! You are fooling yourself if you believe God who required stringent sacrifice and strict obedience in the Old Testament would now suddenly change in mid-stream and make salvation a matter of faith plus nothing.

It is strange how we as humans feel that we must struggle and toil terribly to please God in order to procure His love. We will do the most horrendous and arduous tasks to get noticed by Him. There are so many, even calling themselves Christians who tell you that you can never know God intimately, and they fear Him in an unhealthy way. They say that salvation is unknowable until you are there.  They use verses out of context to try to prove that God is a hard taskmaster.  So many other religions have you struggle to attain to God and yet Christianity is truly unique in that God became a man and reached out to us so that none would perish if they would only realize that they have sinned against God, repent and believe.  

2Peter 3:9 says The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 


I want to introduce the word GRACE here:  

God's 
Riches
At 
Christ's
Expense

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit touches our hearts are the words he breathed into the Apostle Paul to write, recorded in Ephesians 2:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead [a]in our transgressions, made us alive together [b]with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [c]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. EPHESIANS 2:4-10 NASB


Hmmmmmmm was grace at work in the Old Testament as well?



“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6).

        What in the world does that big word mean . . . IMPUTETH? The word “impute” means “to pass to one’s account, to count over” It means that Jesus places His righteousness upon our record when we trust upon Him for salvation. Romans chapter four speaks concerning Abraham, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was COUNTED UNTO HIM for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). What a beautiful truth! Abraham was not saved by good works; but rather, he believed God and was saved by Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s perfection was imputed (placed) on Abraham’s record in Heaven. God the Father viewed Abraham thereafter as having the righteousness of Christ. What a Savior!

Abraham believed God concerning the coming Messiah which was to save His people from their sins . . . “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Why was Abraham able to simply believe God in place of merit or good works? It's simply because Jesus paid the price for mankind's sins. You see, Abraham could NOT please God in his own self-righteousness, nor can we (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 10:3,4; Titus 3:5). No matter how much good we may do here on earth, our sins are still recorded in Heaven. Our sins must be dealt with. This is why Jesus came to earth to pay the price for our sins with His own precious blood . . . “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” All mankind is corrupt and destitute of God. Even in our sincerest efforts, humanity is tarnished with the curse of sin and rebellion. We need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are saved by Jesus' righteousness through faith.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

We read in Romans 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not IMPUTE sin.” Not only was Christ’s righteousness imputed (counted) to Abraham’s record, but Abraham’s sinful record was imputed to Christ. Literally, Jesus became as sin for us and died a sinner's death . . . “For HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Amen!

We read concerning Abraham . . .

“And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was IMPUTED to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be IMPUTED, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:22-24). 

This is a beautiful passage of Scripture, teaching that God is willing to IMPUTE Christ's righteousness to us as well, just as He did to Abraham, if we'll simply believe on the Lord... “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

These Scriptures were written for us, that we might also have Christ’s righteousness imputed to our record, and our sins imputed to Christ’s record. He who knew no sin, became as sin, that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21). What a wonderful truth! To think that Jesus would actually bear our sins upon Himself and sacrifice His precious blood for our sins—we are not worthy. Thankfully, God looked beyond our faults through His love and saw our need . . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I cannot express in Words how much I thank the Lord for what He has done for a sinful worm like me. Do you realize all that you will miss if you reject Christ as your Savior? Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), which anyone may have simply by acknowledging their guilt of sin and believing on the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness . . . “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). It is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved, so that God the Father may view us as having the righteousness of Christ which is imputed unto us at salvation . . . 

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6).

“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was IMPUTED unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23). 

Would you like to be the friend of God? Man tries to make salvation complicated and corrupts the greatest gift ever given to man.

It all begins when you say yes to Jesus and let Him become your Savior. Jesus earnestly wants to impute your sin to His record and impute His righteousness to your record. All you must do to be saved is admit your guilty condition before God for violating His holy Law (Romans 3:19), and then trust upon the Son of God to wash away your sins with His shed blood. Admit you’re a sinner deserving of Hell. Turn to Christ now in faith and trust Him to forgive your sins and cleanse you.

See you next blog,
Ted

O YEAH AND HAPPY EASTER IF YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR BECAUSE IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT HIM!




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Did You Know You Can Become Addicted To Your Abuser?


Did you know that you can become addicted to abuse? Are you aware of the extreme damage it does to your SPIRIT, MIND, AND SOUL? You actually begin to believe you can't do anything! You actually question whether or not you are a good person! You begin to believe you really aren't a good parent because he keeps telling you how deficit you are. You are told you don't contribute anything to the marriage and that you cannot be depended upon when he needs you. You always saw yourself as supportive and did so many things to please him but nothing you do is really right. There may be a few scattered good days but even those days have a I.U.D. hidden in your path-you are being set up for the next EXPLOSION and you are unaware. The worst part is that you realize YOU ARE NOT LOVED AND HE SAYS YOU ARE UNGRATEFUL AND SELFISH!

Did you think you were going to be living a good life after all these years, but now, the man who has been bringing it to you has been making it enotionally painful instead? Certainly, your marriage or relationship may be played out on an attractive enough stage--you could be living a lifestyle that those looking in from the outside may actually envy. However, you know that you are feeling increasingly miserable, isn't that so?

You probably awaken each morning with butterflies aflight in your stomach. How is your partner going to treat you today? you silently wonder. Of course, there is a chance he greets you with verbal abuse and hence, the butterflies swirl with greater speed yet. Then again, he may offer a kind word or two. You are grateful for this morsal he tosses your way and thus, your anxiety begins to dissipate. But then, just when you think everything is going to be okay, he slings out words that spear your heart.

So tell me, are you confused as to why your partner treats you in the ways he does--dishing out emotional abuse and verbal abuse without restraint? I know I was when I was living in a marriage that came to be filled with this type of verbal abuse and emotional abuse. Why did my husband constantly label me as ungrateful? I thought. Why did he constantly tell me that there were numerous women out there who'd be thrilled to take my place?

Why? Probably because my husband was suffering from a pathological level of narcissism and indeed, while I believed we had a partnership, he was a man who would be king. And of course, I was not being a loyal and grateful enough subject.
The thing is, probably no matter how much I had done to appease my husband, it would never have been enough. After all, a narcissist has to be right. He must have power over you. Certainly, this means that he must make you wrong. The narcissist believes it is better to be fearerd than loved--something my husband professed more than once.

Are you facing something similar to what I faced in your own marriage or relationship? You may also be pained by the fact your partner calls you ungrateful when you try to show him, through your every move, that you are there for him and for your relationship.

Well, at least you probably did so in the past. After suffering the slings and arrows your verbally abusive partner has been sending your way for perhaps awhile now, you are likely feeling so hopeless and helpless that today, you may hardly have a good word to say about this once beloved man. Then again, you may still profess to love him.

No matter whether you love your partner or not, do you nonetheless find, when you are trying to speak in his presence, that you can hardly string together a complete sentence? I know this happened to me--a once articulate professional woman who'd made presentations to rooms full of people as well as appeared in edicational segments on television. This may seem surprising at first. However, once you realize that likely anything you say will be attacked--that somehow your partner will be verbally abusive and make you wrong yet one more time--doesn't it make sense that you've become practically mute?

If you can relate to any of what I've just said, or even if you're still lost in a cloud of confusion as to why your partner is being as verbally and emotionally abusive as he is, you may want to linger at this site for awhile. Discover there is likely good reason for your emotional pain--or perhaps depression that refuses to lift. And if you feel as if you are going crazy, learn that it makes perfect sense that you feel this way, too.
You are living in a toxic environment. Have you ever thought of it this way--that being the victim of constant verbal abuse and emotional abuse can destroy you emotionally, physically, and spiritually? That you don't have to be physically abused to be an abused woman?

So, are you here at Narcissism, Addictions, and Abuse in part because you want to know if you are truly misperceiving most everything that now transpires between the two of you--as your husband or partner may well be telling you that you are? And certainly, you may want the almost constant feelings of anxiety, fear, worthlessness, and that sense that you can't do anything right to all disappear from your life, isn't that so? In fact, don't you want to step outside the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in which you're now undoubtedly encased and instead, believe in a better tomorrow--one where you will rediscover the self that loves life while, at the same time, coming to know inner contentment and peace?
While I certainly don't know you and what your life is like today, I do suspect that I have some idea. And, having walked in similar shoes, I want better for you. I hope I can provide some of the guidance you need to get from where you are today to where you'd prefer to be--or at least, to give yourself the chance of discovering what your life could become versus remaining on the downslide you'r'e undoubtedly experiencing today.

Should you trust what I have to say? You'll have to make that decision. Let me say that I do have the credentials you unndoubtedly both desire and expect from an individual providing relationship advice. While you can read more about me at another page at this website, know that I have a Ph.D. in clinical social work from the University of Texas at Arlington, I have other degrees in family studies and child development, and I am licensed to practice as a psychotherapist. As a result, I hope you'll feel comfortable sticking around and reading the articles I've posted--and likely will add to as time goes on. Also, discover self-help books I've identified that should prove useful to you--some now, and perhaps others in the future.
By the way, let me commend you for taking this step--trying to seek information and to learn about what you are facing. After all, it isn't easy to open your eyes to such painful realities. Some women never do it and, as a result, essentially become emotionally destroyed--if not worse yet. But you're not going to let that happen to you, are you?

The road you undoubtedly will have to walk in the nenar future will prove challenging--you can count on that. You will need support from others along the way. You also should seek advice from a psychotherapist. In fact, you may need ongoing counseling from someone who truly understands narcissists and narcissism--and how devastating the emotional abuse and verbal abuse of the narcissist can be. Yes indeed, if you are truly facing a partner's narcissism, addictions, and abuse, you should not expect to be able to go this path alone. And indeed, after reading the articles at this site, you should know whether this is what you've been facing--or, if your partner may have different types of mental health issues that create similar painful circumstances for you, the partner.

As you read what is here at Narcissism, Addictions, and Abuse, believe that your life can get better--and that you will get better, too. Whle you may be wrapped in fear today, by taking steps to change your life circumstances, you are giving yourself a chance not only to discover a more fulfilling life, but to uncover aspects of yourself you may never have known even existed. In fact, this may play a significant role in making your life much richer in the future.
Tell me, are you ready to take a fist step on your new life's journey?

Some Quotes for Today
"Women know the wisdom and strength that can be found only in relationships; we just need to channel it more towards ourselves than constantly give it away to others." -Ellen McGrath, Ph.D.

"He who is not every day conquering some fear, has not learned the secret of life." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Besides writing on Narcissism, Addicitons, and Abuse, Dr. Diane England also has written on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Her self-help book, The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Suppoort Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy was designated by theLibrary Journal as one of the "Best Books of 2009." That said, because it helps to tell people about potentially helpful books since you never know who may be suffering silently and needlessly, would you be willing to help get the word out about this one? Thanks so much!

see you next blog,
Ted

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Can You Be Fooled By A Fool?


It seems some people cannot understand that as the author of a post one is not necessarily writing about oneself, nor should one seek to exalt oneself. Someone once said, that though we are exalted on the highest throne in the land we are still seated upon our own ARSE! So understand that my writings are not declaring myself to have ARRIVED at the point of perfection in my Christian walk, far from it, I am a man in need of the GRACE and MERCY that is provided to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on a hill called Golgotha!

CAN YOU BE FOOLED BY A FOOL? (Proverbs 26:1-11)

The Bible has a lot to say about a fool and foolishness especially the book of Proverbs. It is a trait that Christians can ill afford to abide or exercise. As a matter of fact you cannot be a believer and maintain a fool's heart or your profession of faith is in vain. Charles Spurgeon once said, "the greatest tragedy in life is that one should be covenanted with a fool in marriage." Certain people immediately come to our minds with the mention of the word fool. The first person I thought of was the actor, Jerry Lewis, followed by the Three Stooges, Larry, Curly, and Mo, then the Marx Brothers, Maxwell Smart, Tim Conway, and Don Knotts. It is interesting to me that none of these men fit the definition which Proverbs gives us of the fool. The “fools” I thought of are all rather harmless creature, basically well-intentioned and innocent. All of them evoke a certain sense of pity, mixed with amusement. Not so with the fool in the Book of Proverbs. This is but one of the reasons why the study of “the fool” is important.

Before we start down this path  we must begin by asking whether our study is sanctioned by Him in the light of His teaching in Matthew 5:22:

“But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the hell of fire.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, of which this verse is a part, our Lord was attempting to show that He did not come to reduce the requirements of the Law, but to reinforce them so that they would be interpreted even more strictly than was common in Israel. Not only was it sinful to commit murder (5:21), but it was wrong to be angry with a brother (5:2f) because anger may lead to murder, just as lust may lead to immorality (5:27-30).24 To call a brother a fool is to declare him to be worthless. If a man is but a fool, a blight on society, it would be better for all if he were dead. To conclude that one is worthless, then, is to come to the conclusion that the world would best be rid of him, which is but one short step from murder. That does not mean that fool should not be told he is a fool to his face! Our Lord did not condemn us making an assessment of a person’s character, but only the assassination of one’s character to the world at large. In fact the Bible gives strict guidelines for dealing with a fool. For clarity's sake the NASB renders three Hebrew words “fool:” Kesil (1:22,32;3:35;8:5; 10:1,18,23; 12:23; 13:10,16,19,20; 14:7,8,16,24,33; 15:2,7,14,20; 17:10,12,16,21,24, 25; 18:2,6,7; 19:1,10,13,29; 21:20; 23:9; 26:1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12; 28:26; 29:11, 20), Ewil (1:7; 7:22; 10:8,10,41,21; 11:29; 12:15,16; 14:3,9; 15:5; 16:22; 17:28; 18:13; 20:3; 24:7,9; 27:3,22; 29:9), and Nabal (17:7,21; 30:22). In addition there is the “simple,” whom we have already studied, and the “scoffer” (Hebrew: Luts, 1:22; 3:34; 9:7,8; 13:1; 14:6; 15:12; 19:25,29; 21:11,24; 22:10; 24:9; 29:8). In this message I have decided to focus on the two primary categories of fool (Kesil, Ewil), as well as the scoffer (Luts). The Nabal occurs seldom and will not be included here. Instead of dwelling on the distinctions between these three categories I will focus on their common characteristics.

Just as our Lord did not forbid us from discerning the character of fools, the Book of Proverbs commends this assessment as a necessity for those who would be wise. Several reasons are given for the need to discern between those who are fools and those who are wise.

1. TO ASSOCIATE WITH FOOLS IS BOTH UNWISE AND UNPLEASANT. To some degree folly is contagious, and association with a fool tends to diminish our ability to discern truth from error and wisdom from folly.

Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge (14:7).

A fool is bound for his own destruction, and he will inevitably destroy everything in his path. Those who get in the way of the fool will get hurt.

Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly (17:12).

The scoffer, the worst form of fool,25 is not only to be avoided, but is to be driven away.

Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease (22:10).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!
If anyone needs to be able to recognize a fool it is the man or woman who is seeking a life’s mate. There is nothing more miserable than to be married to a fool. While Proverbs takes the positive approach here, exalting the godly wife (e.g. 31:10-31), the fool should be avoided as a partner in marriage. Abigail was married to a fool (I Sam. 25), but God was gracious enough to deliver her by his death; but this is not the norm. She may not have had much to say about her marriage to Nabal, but you do, and you and your children will suffer with your mistake in a marriage partner.

2. TO EMPLOY A FOOL IS A TRAGIC MISTAKE. Those who are responsible for hiring employees will want to take special note of the warnings of Proverbs to those who would hire a fool.

He cuts off his own feet, and drinks violence Who sends a message by the hand of a fool (26:6).

Like an archer who wounds everyone, So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by (26:10).

3. FOOLISHNESS IS INHERENT IN CHILDREN AND THEREFORE PARENTS MUST KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH FOLLY WHEN IT OCCURS.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him (22:15).

Proverbs offers hope to parents that foolishness can be cured if detected early and disciplined diligently.

4. FOOLS MUST BE DEALT WITH DIFFERENTLY THAN THOSE WHO ARE WISE. We cannot deal with all men in the same way. Our response to people must be based on the kind of character they have demonstrated.

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, Reprove a wise man, and he will love you (9:7-8).

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes (26:4-5).

These considerations necessitate discerning the character of others and, in particular, that of a fool. Not only will we be able to see foolishness in others as a result of our study in Proverbs, we will also see a greater measure of it in ourselves. May God enable us to be honest with ourselves, to confess our foolishness, 2 and to forsake it as sinful and destructive, both to ourselves and to others.

Characteristics of A Fool
It is much easier to identify a fool in terms of what he is not than in terms of what he is. Notice the following characteristics of the fool as the Book of Proverbs describes him.

1. THE FOOL IS UNRIGHTEOUS. The fool hates what is holy, righteous, and good, and he loves evil.

Desire realized is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil (13:19).

Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool; And so is wisdom to a man of understanding (10:23).

Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is good will (14:9).

2. THE FOOL IS UNWISE. Throughout Proverbs the fool is the counterpart of the wise. Wisdom is contrasted with folly. The fool does not possess wisdom, cannot obtain wisdom, and would not obtain it if he could.

THE FOOL DOES NOT POSSESS WISDOM;
The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding (10:21; cf. 1:20-33).

THE FOOL IS NOT CAPABLE OF OBTAINING WISDOM:
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense [literally, “heart”]? (17:16).

A scoffer seeks wisdom, and finds none, But knowledge is easy to him who has understanding (14:6).

Wisdom is too high for a fool, He will not open his mouth in the gate (24:7).

The fool has no capacity for wisdom. In the words of 17:16, he has “no heart” for it. He may seem to seek wisdom, but is incapable of recognizing or retaining it.

THE FOOL HAS NO DESIRE FOR WISDOM, AND WOULD REJECT IT EVEN IF HE COULD ACQUIRE IT BECAUSE HE HATES IT:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7; cf. 1:22).

The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly (15:14).

A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind (18:2).

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words (23:9).

The fool is not neutral toward wisdom--he hates it. Wisdom is to the fool what liver is to me: as freely and frequently as it may be offered to me, I will do everything I can to avoid it.

3. THE FOOL IS UNREALISTIC. The fool fails to see things as they are. Reality is distorted by the fool’s distorted outlook on life.

THE FOOL IS UNREALISTIC ABOUT HIMSELF in that he overestimates his knowledge and abilities:
“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride (21:24).

THE FOOL IS UNREALISTIC ABOUT LIFE. He thinks wisdom can be obtained easily, like purchasing a candy bar at a corner drug store.
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? (17:16).

THE FOOL IS UNCONCERNED WITH PRESENT REALITIES, and is a wishful thinker. His “ship” is always about to “come in.”
Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth (17:24).

4. THE FOOL IS UNDISCIPLINED. The fool looks upon self-control as a needless and useless denial of present pleasure. Because of this, every area of his life lacks discipline.

THE FOOL IS UNDISCIPLINED WITH HIS MONEY AND MATERIAL RESOURCES:
There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up (21:30).

THE FOOL IS UNDISCIPLINED WITH HIS TEMPER:
A fool’s vexation is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor (12:16).

A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back (29:11).

THE FOOL IS UNDISCIPLINED WITH HIS MOUTH:
A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly (12:23, cf. 10:14).

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly (15:2; cf. 18:2,7).

It is little wonder that the fool is referred to as a “babbling fool” (literally, the foolish of lips, 10:8,10).

5. THE FOOL IS UNRELIABLE.

HE IS UNRELIABLE IN HIS WORK: The fool is dishonest and evil and cannot be trusted in any area.
He cuts off his own feet, and drinks violence . He sends a message by the hand of a fool (26:6).

Like an archer who wounds everyone, So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by (26:10).

HE IS UNRELIABLE IN HIS WORDS. The words of the fool are always to be questioned. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a slanderer.
He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool (10:18).

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit (14:8).

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool (19:1).

Even what the fool believes to be true may be only his worthless opinion. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly (15:2).

The lips of the wise spread knowledge, But the hearts of fools are not so (15:7, cf. v. 14).

6. THE FOOL IS UNTEACHABLE. Try as you like, attempting to teach a fool is frustrating at best, and often painful. Whenever a fool is faced with wisdom and instruction, he will reject it.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7).

Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, And be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naive shall kill them, And the complacency of fools shall destroy them (1:29-32).

Whenever the fool is disciplined, he resists it.

A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is prudent (15:5).

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man, and he will love you (9:7-8).

A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise (15:12).

A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool (17:10).

The folly of a fool is deep-seated. No matter how hard one strives to rid the fool of his folly, such efforts end in failure. A fool and his folly are seemingly inseparable.

Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his folly will not depart from him (27:22).

The fool cannot even learn from his own mistakes. Given the opportunity, he will repeat his folly:

Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly (26:11).

It is ironic, but true, that while the fool refuses to be taught, he is eager to teach others from his abundance of “wisdom.”

A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly (12:23).

A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind (18:2).

7. THE FOOL IS UNPLEASANT, UNLIKED, AND UNDESIRABLE. The fool is a menace, a detriment to society. He is a pain to his parents, for he hates them (15:20) and causes them grief (10:1; 17:21,25; 19:23). He is a disaster wherever he goes (10:14; 17:12).He hinders the understanding of others (14:7).His speech is slanderous (10:18). The fool is quarrelsome (20:3), and he stirs up dissension and anger.

A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows (18:6).

Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease (22:10).

Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger (29:8).

So far as society is concerned, the fool is an abomination.

The devising of folly is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men (24:9).

The Causes of Folly
I believe it is possible to reduce the causes of folly to two principle choices: the decision to distrust God and the decision to trust in one’s own heart.

First, the fool is one who has willfully determined not to follow the way of wisdom. Although wisdom has sought him out, he has refused and rejected her.

Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel, And did not want my reproof; . . . Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord (1:20-25,29).

The fool is not neutral toward wisdom, he hates it, and he loves the evil of his way (cf. 10:23;13:19; 29:27).

Second, one becomes a fool by trusting in himself. If one will not trust in God (1:7,29), he must trust in himself. Proverbs tells us that the fool is self-confident, trusting in his own wisdom, rather than in God and the counsel of those who are wise.

The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel (12:15).

To the fool, no one is more trustworthy, wise, or reliable than himself. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered (28:26).

Realizing the tendency of the fool to trust in himself enriches our understanding of one of the most familiar passages in the Book of Proverbs:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil (3:5-7).

The fool, trusting in his own understanding, rejects the fear of the Lord, and chooses to walk in the way of evil.

This decision to trust in self results in arrogance (21:24) and in a rejection of all authority, including that of one’s parents (15:5; 10:8). The fool is characterized by complacency (1:32).After all, who needs instruction, if he knows it all? Who needs correction who is never wrong? Who needs improvement, who has already arrived at wisdom and maturity? As a result, the fool has an autonomous spirit, and is reckless in his living (14:16).

How to Treat a Fool
Now that we have seen the characteristics of a fool and have learned the root causes of his folly, we must direct our attention to the treatment of a fool. Proverbs has a good deal to say on this subject, and nearly all of its instruction pertains to what we should not do. Our actions with regard to fools are often more negative than positive.

1. WE SHOULD AVOID THE FOOL IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. While wisdom is not contagious to a fool, folly is to the wise; therefore, the wise man should avoid the fool.

Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge (14:7).

In addition, the fool is dangerous and harmful, and we should avoid him like a bear robbed of her cubs (17:12).

2. THE FOOL SHOULD BE DRIVEN OUT. In those cases where we cannot leave the fool, the fool may need to be sent away.

Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease (22:10).

The New Testament teaches that Christians should not fellowship with professing Christians who are living in sin (I Cor. 5:9-13). The church is instructed to put out those who disregard biblical rebuke and correction (Matt. 18:15-17; I Cor. 5:5). The words of Paul to Titus seem closely related to the teaching of Proverbs that we should avoid the fool:

Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned (Titus 3:10-11).

3. WE SHOULD NOT WASTE OUR INSTRUCTION ON FOOLS. In the New Testament Jesus taught that we should not “cast our pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6). In Proverbs, we are told not to attempt to teach fools:

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words (23:9).

4. WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW THE FOOL TO DRAG US DOWN TO HIS LEVEL. The fool is exasperating; he is looking for trouble, and he often tempts us to oblige him. Since the fool will spout off and speak his mind, we are tempted to lose our temper with him as well. Proverbs instructs us not to allow him to get the best of us, lest we be lowered to his level.

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you be like him (26:4).

5. WE SHOULD NOT DIGNIFY A FOOL BY GIVING HIM UNDUE HONOR, SO THAT HE WILL-BE FLATTERED AND PUFFED UP EVEN FURTHER. The fool is pompous and proud, and he will take any positive strokes as a compliment. We should avoid giving him any honor.

Like snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool (26:1).

Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes (26:5).

6. WE SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO CORRECT THE FOOL, FOR IN SO DOING WE WILL ONLY PUNISH OURSELVES. The fool is never open to rebuke or correction. Any effort to correct a fool by mere verbal rebuke is futile.

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, Reprove a wise man, and he will love you (9:7-8).

When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest (29:9).

7. WE SHOULD NOT MAKE LIFE EASY FOR THE FOOL. While verbal rebuke is not effective with fools, we should not seek to cushion the painful effects of their folly. The “way of the transgressor is hard” (13:15) and so the folly of a fool will bring about many difficulties. These painful consequences of sin may be instrumental in bringing the fool to the end of his folly, but regardless, the painful blows of sin should not be softened.

In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will preserve them (14:3).

A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul (18:6-7).

Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes (19:10).

The prodigal son did not come to his senses until he was allowed to suffer the consequences of his folly (Luke 15:11-14).We must not hinder fools from entering the pig pens of life, for it is there that they may come to recognize their folly.

8. FOOLS SHOULD BE SEVERELY DISCIPLINED. Fools do not learn from a lecture, but they cannot ignore physical pain. The only method of discipline for the fool is “the rod.”

A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the back of fools (26:3).

The fool may not learn even though he is severely disciplined, but others may learn a lesson by seeing the outcome of folly.

Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge (19:25; cf. 21:11).

The preceding principles governing our treatment may incline us to draw the wrong conclusion. Are fools utterly hopeless? Should we not make any effort to turn them from their folly? What are the implications of Proverbs for evangelism? Since, in one sense, all unbelievers are fools because they have rejected the fear of the Lord, should we do nothing to win them to Christ? The answer to these questions is also found in Proverbs.

The point which Proverbs is stressing is that the fool cannot be reasoned from his folly, cannot be shamed from it, and likely cannot even be beaten from it (cf. 27:22).This should not, however, lead us to the conclusion that the fool is utterly hopeless and helpless. Everyone who does not know Christ is hopelessly lost apart from divine intervention. The reason why Proverbs teaches us not to try to reform a fool is that he must be transformed. The fool’s problem is one of the heart (3:5; 4:23).

Proverbs reminds us that if we would help deliver a fool from his folly he must be saved from his sin. Rather than working on the symptoms of folly, we must deal with the heart of the matter. Notice that in Proverbs wisdom offers herself to all men; and specifically the fool is urged to turn from his folly.

“How long, 0 naive ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you (1:22-24).

“Come, eat of my food, And drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake your folly and live, And proceed in the way of understanding” (9:5-6).

The solution for the fool is to turn from his folly, from trusting in himself, to fearing God. If we would help the fool it is by proclaiming to him the way of salvation, not trying to inform him (by teaching) or reform him (by rebuke and correction). It is only the gospel which transforms men through the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion
There is much for the Christian to learn from the teaching of Proverbs on the fool. Let me suggest several topics on which you might profitably meditate.

First, while we would admit that foolishness (folly) is sin, let us also be aware of the fact that sin is foolishness. Whenever we choose to sin, we are choosing to play the part of the fool. When we sin, we conclude that we are wiser than God, and that we are better able to judge matters than He. Sin is the decision to reject the wisdom of God and venture out on our own. In the Garden of Eden, Satan deceived Eve into believing that God’s prohibition was unwise and unkind, and that disobedience would make her wise, even God-like (Gen. 3:5-6). Such is always the case with sin--we cannot choose to sin without rejecting the wisdom of God. Sin is folly.

Second, let us think of Satan as the prince of fools. As I think through the characteristics of a fool, I am reminded that no one is better described than Satan himself. He chose to rebel against God and to assert his will over God’s (Isa. 14:1215).He delights in sin, and he actively seeks to lead others in his evil way. He sets himself about the task of hindering others and bringing about their destruction (I Pet. 5:8).He is a deceiver (I Tim. 2:14; Rev. 20:3), a sinner (I John 3:8), a liar and a murderer (John 8:44).He accuses the saints before God and slanders them (Rev. 12:10).He is arrogant and proud (Ezek. 28:17; I Tim. 3:6). He is a troublemaker and a nuisance. Because of this, he should be avoided, but we should not attempt to rebuke him (Jude 8-9). Satan is the prince of fools, the essence of folly.

Third, everyone must decide to be a fool in the eyes of some. The one who is wise in his own eyes is a fool to God. The one who trusts in God and walks in the way of wisdom is a fool to Satan (cf. Job 1) and to those who are without Christ. The way of the cross is a foolish way to the unsaved (I Cor. 1:18-25).To become truly wise we must forsake our own human, finite, wisdom (Prov. 3:5-6) and trust in the wisdom of God. We must become foolish to become wise:

Let no one deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS OF THE WISE, THAT THEY ARE USELESS” (I Cor. 3:18-20).

Would you be wise in the eyes of God? Then you must acknowledge your sin, and trust in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of your sins. He died in your place. He bore the penalty of your sins. By trusting in Christ’s death on your behalf, you not only enter the way of wisdom, you enter the way of everlasting life.

Fourth, it is possible for a Christian to play the fool. Unfortunately we may stray from the path of wisdom into the path of folly and sin. David did when he took another man’s life, and his wife (II Sam. 11). Solomon did when he married foreign wives (I Kings 11:1-4).

As I turned once again to the passages of the New Testament which speak of putting off our old man (e.g. Eph. 4:22-32; Col. 3:9-17) I noticed that the very things which we are told to put off are the characteristics and actions of the fool. Our old nature is predisposed toward practicing folly. Those of us who are Christians need to look for the fool in us, not just in others. The enemy, so to speak, is us. The foolishness of our old nature must be diligently disciplined. We must not pamper the flesh, but crucify it. Ultimately the only solution for foolishness is the cross.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up, his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24).

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24).

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20).

Let us seek, by the grace of God, to put to death the works of the flesh, to be wise, and to forsake folly. And let us seek the salvation of those who are fools, by proclaiming the foolishness of the cross.

See you next blog,
Ted


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