<<stupid, unwise person>>

Being foolish is not so much due to a lack of knowledge, rather it is choosing the opposite path to wisdom; it is knowing the right path to take but in rebellion ignoring or refusing to go that route.

"The wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile" (1 Cor 3:19,20).

A fool shows poor judgment, disregards good moral principles and, by not heeding advice, makes irresponsible wrong choices. “The fool says in his heart there is no God” (Ps 14:1, 53:1). Fools despise wisdom and instruction because their way seems right to them and so become perverted by not seeking to know God’s way (Jdg 17:6; Prov 1:7, 12:15, 28:26; Jer 5:4; Rom 1:21,22).  They find pleasure in doing evil and rush in making rash decisions that later are regretted when the full implications are realised (Prov 10:23, 14:17, 20:25).  The sin of foolishness needs correction or discipline to remove it, as even planning to do foolish things is considered sin (Prov 15:5, 22:15, 24:9). A fool can be thought wise if they keep their mouth shut; conversely, when they speak inappropriately it reveals what they really are (Prov 17:28, 18:6,7, 29:11).

Foolishness takes many forms. Salvation through Christ seems foolishness to those who are perishing because they don’t understand their predicament nor comprehend the simplicity of the solution with those who think they are wise often miss it (1 Cor 1:18-27, 2:14). It is self-evident that those who want to get rich fall into many foolish desires that bring about their destruction (1 Tim 6:9). Paul also acknowledged “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures” and advised Titus to “Avoid foolish controversies…because these are unprofitable and useless” (Tit 3:3,9).  However, there is a vast difference between asking questions to gain understanding and foolish, arrogant talk.

It is foolish to try to obtain by human efforts what can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit (Gal 3:1-3).  Don’t live foolishly or irresponsibility but carefully consider whether all your words and actions are consistent with Christ’s teaching (Eph 5:3,4,15-18).  Jesus said that anyone who hears His words and doesn’t put them into practice is like a foolish

What foolish traits do I need to correct in my life?

man who built his house on the sand (Mt 7:26,27).  Similarly, in the parable of the ten virgins, those who were not prepared by planning in advance are called foolish while the rich fool was only interested in and concerned about his own affairs but to his detriment (Mt 25:1-13; Lk 12:13-21).

Foolishness is serious and Jesus warned not to call anybody a fool (Mt 5:22). Insulting and offensive talk should not be part of a Christian’s vocabulary. Instead we should help people see the error of their ways.

See also: careless, ignorance, irresponsible, knowledge, rash, unintelligent, wisdom/wise.