In this article, we will be brief and to the point. Biblically, folly is simply plain silliness, carelessness, hastiness in speech (answering before listening), wickedness or easily being led astray (Proverbs 10:14; 14:15; 18:13; 1 Samuel 25:25; Matthew 25:2; 2 Corinthians 11:16-20). Folly begins early in life, and if not addressed through discipline, correction and repentance, it can continue to grow (Proverbs 22:15) and eventually lead to death (Proverbs 5:23). The Bible authors mainly refer to the use of foolishness as man’s accountability to God (Psalm 69:5). This is applied to those who rely entirely on their own understanding and ability instead of relying on God. In addition, a person’s folly may sometimes lie in his inability to perceive truth or things (Luke 11:40; 1 Corinthians 15:36). Through foolishness, we can make unworthy choices that can result in eternal and irreversible consequences (Luke 12:20; Romans 1:21; Matthew 25:10-13).
In being foolish, a fool decides that there is no God (Psalm 14:1), while the order of things in creation points to a Wise mind behind it (Romans 1:20-21). We look at things made by man, and upon deeper understanding into the facts, we realise that the thing makes perfect sense.
Furthermore, the Bible says that the greatest fools are those whom we consider as wise in this world. They despise and mock God’s way of salvation through Christ’s death on the cross to be foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-24). By considering God’s work of salvation as foolish, we are displaying ignorance. The salvation we enjoy is based on a wisdom that is simply beyond human capacity to understand fully (1 Corinthians 1:25).
A foolish person is someone who fails to recognise their own mistakes and accept God’s correction (2 Peter 2:15-16). The good news is that that the Word of God has been given as an antidote to immoral living and foolishness (Psalm 19:7-11). Knowing that sin of various kinds is the power behind foolishness, but when we adjust to the Word of God we add wisdom that results in peace for us (Romans 2:5-11). Finally, friends please refrain from directly calling someone “foolish” or “fool” because the Lord considers it as an abusive term; I received a similar rebuke last week for calling someone a “fool” (Matthew 5:22). The Scriptures clearly advise us that if we fail to cling on to the Lord Jesus Christ by obeying Him, we are acting foolish: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!” (Matthew 7:24-27).
Paradoxes and Admonitions
It is foolish and to a person’s disadvantage to reject the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ when you have never accepted Him as Saviour (Galatians 2:21).
It is foolish to deny the existence of God if you are not sure about His existence, your choice of denying His existence is based on ignorance, than actual proof; this is folly! Try faith and wise up to see Him both within and outside of you (1 Corinthians 2:14). Like Job, don’t speak before you have God's Wisdom to understand His Judgements (Job 42: 1-6).
It is foolish to brand the Bible as uninspired and untrue when you were not there to verify its authenticity. Can you verify that the Bible is not God’s Word when you were not present when He revealed Himself to the witnesses? (Job 38:1-41) Can the testimony of 40 plus witnesses over a period of more than 1600 years be untruthful? Yet most judicial systems may convict on the evidence of only one witness? The point we make is attestation! It is a folly to ignore the truth of the Bible if it is intended to give us a message of hope and eternal life.
It is foolish to make Christ out to be a liar regarding all He stands for in truth if you have not experienced Him (John 8:46).
It is foolish to say there is no life after death when God says there is (John 3:16). Were you there and came back to say there is no life? This is to your disadvantage to believe likewise, for you will never have another opportunity to correct your ways. Believe now and enter into eternal life, rather than eternal condemnation and shame (Hebrews 9:27, 2 Timothy 4:1, Revelation 20:12-15).
It is foolish to question or argue against God when you do not have the ability to stand up against Him (Job 38:1-41, 42:1-16).
It is foolish to insist you acted right when God the Judge and Creator of mankind condemns your actions (John 8:16).
It is foolish to say Jesus Christ did not rise from death when those who were eyewitnesses to the event say so. People would rather believe any historical account, but despise the historical evidence provided in the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). Does this not give evidence of a future life? Denying Christ through doubt and unbelief is rejection of eternal life (John 3:16-18; John 3:36).
It is foolish and rebellious to misrepresent the Scriptures to justify wrong behaviour; are you not acting as Judge over God’s word and using it as a tool to cause your own fall (2 Peter 3:14-18; John 5:39-40). Agree with the Scriptures to reform your ways for in obedience is God’s reward, but rebelliousness bring His wrath (Hebrews 10:38-39).
Obey God, act wisely, shun foolish talk and bad choices, avoid dishonest behaviour; God is not pleased with it. Make a humble choice like the man who build his house on solid ground (Matthew 7:24-27). Faith, obedience and holy living secure Heaven entry!
While the Bible verses mentioned above pertaining to foolishness are by no means exhaustive on this subject, you can gain further understanding on this subject by studying the Bible verses on wisdom.
To accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments about this article or our ministry, please contact us.
Blessed hope and peace to you in this season of reflection upon Christ,