“Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.
An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random.”
Proverbs 26:4-5, 8, 10 NLT
A good portion of this chapter in Proverbs addresses the pain of having someone who is foolish in their life around you. We all have some family member, work associate, or friend that we love and care about but is also foolish in their actions. Solomon starts off the discussion with a contradiction by stating that you should not answer foolish arguments of fools or you will become like them, then he states that you should answer them or they will become wise in their own minds. I think what he is stating the we all will deal with difficult people who are responding and acting foolish at times and sometimes they need to be addressed and sometimes they need to be ignored. The first thing is that you have to be careful of is to not answer a foolish argument in the same manner as they do. If you are upset or if you are angry about their comments, be slow to speak or you will come across as foolish as they did. Many times the response is worse than the initial comment or action. We must also be wise about our response and make sure that it with understanding, patience, and clarity. It is important to answer the right way otherwise a foolish person will think that they are right and likely feel empowered to keep acting foolish. You have to address and correct a foolish person in the work place or they will bring havoc in the organization. He goes on to say that honoring a fool is like tying a stone to a sling shot or when you hire one it is like an archer who shoots at random. This means to me that even a fool will do some things right on occasion, but as soon as you appreciate it they are likely to do something foolish and you will come to regret it in the end. We need to be steadfast, diligent, faithful, patient, hardworking, good listeners, and consistently responsive and we will know how to respond to and avoid foolish people that may be in our lives, otherwise if we respond like they do we will come across foolish ourselves.
“Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. May they fear you as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!”
Psalms 72:1-5 NLT
Father, give me a heart for justice and righteousness and may your ways be established in my heart. Help me to lead and judge people fairly and to always have the heart to help those in need. Help and defend the poor in our generation and remove the oppressors for their lives. I love you and may our nation and city bring grace to love to all those in need. May they know that you love them through the church and our actions and may You be glorified in all that we do. Amen.