Proverbs 25-27

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

I love this. But I love plays on words and interpretation. I love how contextual language is.

Don’t respond to a fool in kind or you will be like him. Instead, correct the folly so that he doesn’t continue to believe he is right.

I think this is something that is particularly relevant in today’s polarized world. When you disagree with someone, you can’t sit there and fling insults back and forth. When someone is being judgmental, bigoted, harsh, or cruel, you can’t respond by shouting them down. You can’t speak to them like they speak to everyone else. You can’t correct folly through identical practices no matter how correct your message may be.

You have to respond to rhetoric with reason. You have to respond to anger with patience. You have be the calm one. You have to remain in control. You have exercise restraint. And, honestly, you have to know when to walk away.

Communicating is difficult in the best of circumstances. Be careful out there.

Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”

I just love this verse because I hate this excuse. That is all.

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