Learning to Overcome Your Foolishness

The Bible’s wisdom books teach me to overcome foolishness by…

Identifying fools

You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street! ECCLESIASTES 10:3 NLT
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. PROVERBS 1:7 NLT

Limiting my time with fools

Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice. PROVERBS23:9 NLT
Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. PROVERBS26:4 NLT

Identifying my own foolishness

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. PROVERBS 26:11 NLT


Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.* ECCLESIASTES 7:9 NLT*
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. PROVERBS12:16 NLT
Surely resentment destroys the fool. JOB 5:2 NLT


A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe. PROVERBS14:3 NLT
Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. PROVERBS18:2 NLT


The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves. PROVERBS14:8 NLT
The crooked heart will not prosper; the lying tongue tumbles into trouble. PROVERBS 17:20 NLT


Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. ECCLESIASTES 4:4 NLT
Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. *PROVERBS24:1 NLT *


Greed brings grief to the whole family. PROVERBS15:27 NLT
Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life. PROVERBS 1:19 NLT


You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. PROVERBS3:25-26 NLT


A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. PROVERBS15:14 NLT
A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time. ECCLESIASTES 7:4 NLT


But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. PROVERBS6:32 NLT *
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. *JOB 31:1 NLT


Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.* ECCLESIASTES 4:5 NLT*
Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can’t even find their way home. ECCLESIASTES10:15 NLT
Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation. PROVERBS14:9 NLT

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. Why do you think avoiding foolishness is the dominant theme of the book of Proverbs?
  2. Take some time to meditate on Proverbs 26:11. How has foolishness affected your life?
  3. What boundaries do you need to set up to help you stay away from foolishness?
  4. Which of the nine types of foolishness do you most identify with? (Anger, pride, lying, envy, greed, fear, gluttony, lust or laziness)
  5. What can you do this week to help limit the effect of these sins in your life? How can our group help you?

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Read through the list of sins that lead to foolishness, assuming that one or more of them will be personal for you. Pick one that you are currently dealing with and think back to a recent time that you struggled in this area. Ask God to reveal to you what was at the root of that struggle. Thank him for the gift of his mercy over your sin and for continuing to love you in the midst of it. Now allow yourself to sit for a moment in that place of grace. As you move through your week and similar situations come up, pause again, thank him for his mercy and ask him to help change your heart that you would desire wisdom over foolishness.

My Notes