Fool for Christ
“Everybody plays the fool sometimes; there’s no exception to the rule.” So goes a line from a one-hit wonder from The Main Ingredient in 1972.
Indeed, we’ve all found ourselves looking or sounding foolish at one time or another. No one wants to be in that situation, but it’s part of life.
As one who tries to avoid embarrassment at all costs, I am especially sensitive about playing the fool, but it happens, and there’s not much we can do about it.
When it comes to our faith, however, there is something we can do about it, and we can look at it two ways. The Old Testament Book of Proverbs is filled with admonitions about foolishness.
For example, Proverbs 12:16 states that “fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook the insult.” We might look at this passage as a way of saying, “take the high road at every opportunity.” Someone might insult us, and we may be taken aback by their words, but we can quickly regroup and choose to either ignore or disregard what they said. In the long run, we show wisdom and even gain the admiration of others by keeping silent in certain situations.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” This is another way of saying, “be wary of the company you keep.” Our parents told us, and we, in turn, tell our children that an individual will be highly influenced by the people with which we associate. “Be careful; don’t be fooled!”
Proverbs 18:2 addresses the foolishness of stubbornness with this passage, “fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.” We all know at least one person like this — people who only care about their perspective and refuse to listen to another’s point of view. Clearly, this person would qualify as a fool.
Proverbs 29:11 offers valuable instruction, especially in today’s world with these words, “fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” It’s another way of saying that volatile situations can be diffused when “cooler heads prevail.”
There are many other passages in Proverbs that speak to the folly of foolishness, but there is at least one passage in the New Testament that advises us to become a fool for our faith. Specifically, I Corinthians 4:10 in which Paul makes the argument that serving Christ requires a level of commitment, a complete surrender of self that runs counter to the generally accepted ways of “Me first” in this world. This includes sacrifice, self-denial, and giving up all that we have to follow Him.
Most of us don’t reach that level of “foolishness,” of faithfulness, but we can certainly be aware of the fact that His call to us often requires that we put the needs of others ahead of our own and that we make Him Lord of all.
Today is April Fool’s Day — not a Holy Day be any means, but still a day to reflect on both the danger and the wisdom of being a fool.
Be careful not to fall victim to the pranks of another, but let us all be willing, through our complete commitment of faith, to be a fool for Christ.
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John