Don't be Conned
As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. ~Proverbs 26:1
A con man is someone who is a cheater, deceitful, and fraudulent. He takes advantage of other people for his personal gain. Proverbs 26 speaks to us about three types of con men. There is the conceited man, who is proud and full of himself. There is the contemptuous man, who despises God, good, and righteousness. There is the contentious man, who is a troublemaker. Each of these men has a common characteristic. They are called fools in the Bible. The term “fool” or “foolish” is a very strong description of someone who does not listen, and who disregards what is right.
We see the identity of a fool.
Proverbs gives us a commentary on the foolish man. A foolish person has contempt for what is right. Proverbs 14:1 teaches us that a fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Fools make a mock at sin (13:19, 14:9). Fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7, 22). Fools are talkers and do their damage with their mouths (10:8, 18:6-7). Fools are self-righteous (12:15). Fools have unresolved anger and wrath problems (12:16, 14:16, 14:17). Fools are deceitful (10:18). Fools think that they will live forever (Luke 12:20). Fools rarely change, and almost always go back to their same ways. “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).
We see the intention of a fool.
Fools try to influence other people in a wrong way. Fools will steal your joy and contentment in Christ. Fools try to portray themselves as role models for those who are naïve. Fools prey on those who are unsuspecting. Fools make light of sin and God’s Word, and mislead weak Christians into following them. Fools’ words inflict damage (26:9). Fools like to boast of their knowledge and self-awareness. Fools never give glory to God. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Fools are divisive. Fools speak out of the abundance that is in their heart, which is not good. Nabal was called a foolish man for speaking contemptuously of David. The rich man in Luke 12 accumulated great riches and thought to indulge himself forever. God called him a fool. A fool presumptuously thinks that he has an unending life and has no time for God.
We see the insulation from a fool.
God gives us straightforward advice as to how to deal with foolish people. Never acknowledge or give honor to a fool (26:1, 8). Don’t deal with fools at their level (26:4-5). Don’t trust a fool with an important message or task (26:6). Don’t be enticed by the words of a fool (26:9). “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (13:20). Avoid fellowship with fools at all costs. A foolish person hides his true feelings, and, in his heart, there are seven abominations (26:24-26). Be careful that you do not fall into a pit that a fool has dug. He eventually will fall into his own pit.
Don’t be conned! God’s Word is a safeguard for us. Many people get into trouble because they trust in the wrong person, get bad counsel from the wrong person, and are in bad company that taints them. Be a wise Christian by obeying the Lord and following good men.