The Word of God has nothing good to say about a foolish person. To be called a fool, by the Bible definition, is to bring shame and hardship onto yourself and everyone associated with you (Proverbs 13:20). But what are the characteristics of a fool? Let’s look at the book of Proverbs to see the way a fool is described so that we can avoid being foolish without even realizing it!

The first character traits of fools are those related to pride. There is also a love of wickedness. I will let Proverbs do the talking. Please read the verses and see what God says about fools.
1. A fool despises wisdom. They already are fully convinced and no ne else has any advice or wisdom of value to offer them.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 NASB)
A fool does not delight in understanding,
But only in revealing his own mind. (Proverbs 18:2 NASB)
Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools. (Proverbs 26:7 NASB)

2. A fool is complacent about their spiritual condition. They have no interest or sense of urgency in changing their ways.

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them. (Proverbs 1:32 NASB)
A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil,
But a fool is arrogant and careless. (Proverbs 14:16 NASB)

3. Fools flaunt their foolish and dishonorable actions for all to see. Their pride keeps them from realizing that the only one who doesn’t consider him a fool is himself.

The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor. (Proverbs 3:35 NASB)
Like a dog that returns to its vomit
Is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11 NASB)

4. A fool is destroyed by his own words. They have no thought of holding back from saying anything and everything they are thinking.

The wise of heart will receive commands,
But a babbling fool will be ruined. (Proverbs 10:8 NASB)
He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
And he who spreads slander is a fool. (Proverbs 10:18 NASB)
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly. (Proverbs 15:2 NASB)
The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly. (Proverbs 15:14 NASB)
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
And his lips are the snare of his soul. (Proverbs 18:7 NASB)

5. A fool seeks out new ways to sin. Wickedness becomes their hobby because they have no fear of The Lord.

Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding. (Proverbs 10:23 NASB)
Fools mock at sin,
But among the upright there is good will. (Proverbs 14:9 NASB)

6. The fool does not exercise any self restraint.

A fool’s anger is known at once,
But a prudent man conceals dishonor. (Proverbs 12:16 NASB)
Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel. (Proverbs 20:3 NASB)
A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11 NASB)

7. A fool rejects any discipline that would otherwise be used to correct him.

A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible. (Proverbs 15:5 NASB)
A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding
Than a hundred blows into a fool. (Proverbs 17:10 NASB)

8. A fool brings shame to the parents who raised him, and it doesn’t phase them a bit.

A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother. (Proverbs 15:20 NASB)
He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy. (Proverbs 17:21 NASB)
A foolish son is a grief to his father
And bitterness to her who bore him. (Proverbs 17:25 NASB)

9. Fools are dangerous to be around, so recognize and avoid them as companions.

Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly. (Proverbs 17:12 NASB)
He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20 NASB)

10. Fools always find themselves being punished and just don’t comprehend why. They attract punishment!

A fool’s lips bring strife,
And his mouth calls for blows. (Proverbs 18:6 NASB)
Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools. (Proverbs 19:29 NASB)
A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the back of fools. (Proverbs 26:3 NASB)

After reading all of these things which describe the behavior of fools, one might draw the conclusion that there is nothing worse than a fool. And you would be wrong. As bad as foolishness is, pride is more lethal and deadly.

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12 NASB)

I would encourage all of us to read and consider the verses above and then pray as the Psalmist did:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23, 24 ASV)

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