Proverbs 26:4-5 (NIV) Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. (Verse 5) Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
Good golly is your head spinning too?!! After reading the above two verses, do I talk to a fool or not?!?!
The Bible does not contradict itself, the heart of it beats to one Truth, soooo… what are we to do with this passage?!
I think our question here reflects so many others we bring to the Father as we ponder what to do without custom tailored advice in the Bible pertaining to our particular circumstance. “Do I move out of state? Do I take that job? Should I attend that school?” Where are these answers in the Bible?! What should we do when we don’t know what to do? Well… I believe Proverbs 26:4-5 is the perfect tool to move us toward our answers!!
According to Proverbs 26:4-5 there will be times it is good to speak with a fool and at other times it would be unwise. The key to understanding which advice to apply to which circumstance is wisdom! Passages like the one we are looking at in Proverbs 26 should stir a desire to dive deep into the consistency of the heart of the One who inspired the Scriptures! We will always find our God on the pages of Scripture and the more we know Him the more we can reflect His character, navigating our situations from His wisdom. For example, I can send my husband for a coffee and he just knows to order me a tall, skinny chi tea, extra hot with extra foam! He doesn’t need to ask, because he just knows me, he knows what I would want!
I’m reminded of Solomon who asked for wisdom from God and became the wisest man to ever live. He was faced with having to discern between two quarreling women; who was the true mother of a newborn baby!?! Nowhere in Scripture does it say what to do in such a situation but Solomon was able to discern correctly because he was able to APPLY the wisdom he had gained from God. James 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Our Proverbs passage should encourage us to dive deep into Scripture, devouring it front to back to get to know the heart of the One who inspired it. Proverbs 9:10 (NIV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. …be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)