Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. Proverbs 14:7
I imagine today’s wise advice has everyone shaking their heads in agreement. If a spotlight were pointed at your gaggle of friends, however, would there be that one person you know you should limit your time around? The one always making bad decisions, dragging you into uncomfortable situations, struggling in their marriage because of their behavior, and the list goes on and on.
Why do we keep these folks on our Christmas card list or included in our party invitations? Unfortunately, some are a bit too close to home as relatives. But those other ones, those are head scratchers. Maybe you think they are funny, your kids are on the same sports team, you’re in a Bible study group with them, or they are a neighbor. As Christians aren’t we to show kindness, compassion and grace?
Yes, to all of the above. However, nowhere in scripture will you find the Lord advising to bring into your close sphere a fool. As scripturally well-informed Christians we should be able to spot fools fairly quickly and make wise choices about boundaries. According to an article in Sharper Iron, look for these traits: arrogance, overconfidence, lacking shame, braggart, reckless with words and choices, self-indulgent, quarrelsome, and insulting. It doesn’t matter that they also have an amazing talent for scrapbooking, working out, wine collecting, or whatever mirrors some hobby or interest of yours. Stay clear. Smile and wave. Be kind and gracious. Protect your heart, mind, family and wallet.
Friend, a fool is no friend. In the end, you will most likely look the fool along with them. Take what they say with a discerning ear. Surround yourself with people you can trust and help you on your sanctification journey. God will cleave the fools. You just need to let them go. He will place the people you need in your path.
Holy Father, open my eyes to the foolish people I have held on to in my life. Help me to be discerning with my time and boundaries concerning them. Bring me wise mentors into my life. Amen