Characteristics of a Fool

The Bible is full of scriptures about foolish people. Sometimes we may have seen only a certain type of foolishness; perhaps we’ve had an alcoholic parent or a family member. When we look at the Word of God, the Lord gives us quite a few characteristics of a foolish person that can help us better understand the behavior of a fool and learn to avoid certain habits or mind sets.

Despises wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Fools don’t seek wisdom and instruction. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to talk about their problems, but you will not see them looking into scripture to apply it to their situation. They may just share their issues with a lot of people and find a counsel that they can pick and choose from.

Easily enticed

With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life. Proverbs 7:21-23

A foolish person can be easily flattered. Because generally foolish people have a high view of themselves, they are hungry and thirsty for the flattery and enticing words that tickle their ears. Typically, these individuals are easily enamored and excited with new people, and can leap into quick decisions, such as a marriage, because someone sounded good!! They can also be the ones who can jump on any bandwagon of Christian success without accessing the soundness of the doctrine or the character of the leader.

Slander comes easy

Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs  10:18

A foolish person has no problem gossiping and back-biting when they are upset . The other person’s reputation is of no importance. This moment and how the person feels becomes more significant than anything else. If you are on the other side of this and you are hearing someone being slandered, you should be wary of this person. Just as they slandered someone to you, someday you may be the target of their slander. If it doesn’t line up with how God tells us to interact with people, then it’s wrong in every situation.

Loves to be intrigued

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools. Eccl 7:5

While fools have no problem slandering someone, they can also easily be intrigued by a person.  Since it’s all about them and how they feel, a fool is not there to build a healthy community, so they will say or do whatever pleases them at the moment and meets their needs. One can’t get too excited about this until the test of time and circumstances has come and the person is examined under pressure to see how they will respond. Will they decide to vent on someone or will they show self restraint!!?

Self expression is very important

A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. Proverbs 14:16

A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. Proverbs 18:2

Fools may look strong and confident, but their confidence is based on their own knowledge and ability. While they may quote the Bible from time to time, their knowledge is earthly not Biblical! Since fools are not seeking knowledge and understanding, they can zealously fight for their own view and use the Bible to make their point. They are not going to the Bible to form their point, but to support their view. They can also speak on things as if they are expressing a doctrine while all along it’s their own personal view clothed in a couple of scriptures.

Just because we agree with a viewpoint, we can’t take it as the truth or doctrine until we have examined the Bible and can validate its scriptural basis. Sometimes we should even challenge ourselves and find scriptures that are saying it differently to ensure we understand the Bible in its full context not just one scripture in isolation with the rest of the word of God.

Repeats mistakes

As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11

Someone can also be foolish because they are not learning from their mistakes. They continue to do the things that jeopardize their relationships, finances, or jobs. They may complain momentarily, but they soon go back to what they used to do as if they have forgotten about the pain and the agony of what they just went through.

Fools are people of extremes; they have a hard time staying stable and moderate in their speech and response to situations. Generally, these people can be interesting and exciting to be around, but if you pay close attention to their lives and their choices, you will see that it is a matter of time before something else goes wrong in their lives due to lack of wisdom and impulsiveness.

Lord we don’t want to be fools in any area of our lives. Show us those areas that need change!