HOW A WISE MAN SPOTS A FOOL--Proverbs 14:7; 13:16-25; Key Vs Proverbs 13:20

Introduction: The word, "fool," is found in 62 verses of scripture; "fool's" (possessive) in seven verses; "fools" in 42 verses; "foolish" in 52 verses; and "foolishness" in 20 verses.

In our text, the Bible warns about becoming a companion of fools. How does a person identify a fool? The Bible gives us plenty of characteristics of a fool. I want us to learn them so that we can…

1. Avoid The Companionship Of Fools

2. Avoid The Characteristics Of Fools.

I. A FOOL IS REVEALED BY HIS SPEECH--Ecclesiastes 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

A. THE FOOL HAS A SURPLUS OF WORDS---Ecclesiastes 10:14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

B. THE FOOL HAS SLANDEROUS WORDS---Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

* To slander someone is to make accusation against them without verifying that it’s true.

C. THE FOOL HAS SCOFFING WORDS—Psa. 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

* An atheist doesn't truly BELIEVE there is no God; he just SAYS there is no God.

D. THE FOOL HAS SWIFT WORDS---Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

* A fool talks without considering a matter first.

* Prov. 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

* One of the most foolish types of programs on television is the average news commentary with two or more people "debating" the issues. They have nearly every characteristic of a fool's speech that the Bible gives!

II. A FOOL IS REVEALED BY HIS STEPS---Ecclesiastes 10:3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

A. A FOOL HAS STUMBLING STEPS---Eccl. 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

B. A FOOL HAS SINFUL STEPS---Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

In the story of the Prodigal son, the fool was the young man who decided to leave home and waste his inheritance. When he came to himself, he decided to return to the Father's house. The most foolish thing a man does is to reject the gospel. The most foolish thing a Christian does is to reject his Father's fellowship and go the way of the world.

III. A FOOL IS REVEALED BY HIS SPIRIT---Proverbs 14:16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

A. A FOOL HAS A STOUT (HAUGHTY, PROUD) SPIRIT---Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Prov. 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

* A fool promotes himself; a wise man humbles himself and lifts up Jesus!

B. A FOOL HAS A STUBBORN SPIRIT---Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

* A fool is stubborn; therefore, he is not teachable. Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

* A fool is stubborn in rejecting the truths of the Bible about salvation, about service, about sin and separation, about service.

C. A FOOL HAS A SWIFT SPIRIT---Proverbs 13:16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

* A wise man is swift to hear, but slow to speak, slow to get angry, and slow to make a decision that requires contemplation:

* As I quoted about a fool's speech: Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

* Proverbs 19:2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

D. A FOOL HAS A STRIVING SPIRIT---Proverbs 20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

* A fool gets into arguments all the time.

E. A FOOL HAS A SEETHING (SOON-ANGRY) SPIRIT

* Eccl. 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

* Proverbs 12:16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

IV. A FOOL IS REVEALED BY HIS SPORT---Proverbs 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom. (Sport is what makes a person happy. It is pleasure.)

A. HE ENJOYS MISCHIEF

* We think of mischief as a joke, but in the Bible it’s more serious than that.

* Mischief in the Bible is anything that is harmful to another person.

* This is one of the seven abominations to God, according to Prov. 6:18.

B. HE ENJOYS MEDDLING IN THE AFFAIRS OF OTHERS---Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. 18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

* He is willing to lie about others in order to stir up a fight.

* He’s a gossip. He’s always talking about others to try to make people angry at them.

I am afraid that many of us have been unaware of what marks a fool. I am afraid that many of us are companions of fools. I am afraid that many of us are foolish in our own ways. Let us not be foolish, but wise. Let's be kind and witness to all people, but let's not have fools, but wise men, as our companions.