The Terrible Trio


“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”

~Proverbs 9:4, NASB


People everywhere enjoy believing things they know are not true. It spares them the effort of thinking, deciding for themselves and being responsible. {In other words, it gives them an excuse}

~Brooks Atkinson

Whereas Proverbs 9 speaks of the contrast between wisdom and foolishness, Solomon also introduces us to the Terrible Trio: the naive [simple, childish, ignorant], the scoffer [mocker, fun-maker, blow-hard, windbag] and the fool. Of course, Proverbs is loading with information about fools and some of it is a bit disturbing, at least to me. Concerning the quote above: I have a parallel–A person who is not man enough to think for himself and take responsibility for his mistakes, is a moral sissy. Pardon, my French.

First, let us consider the Naive.’ Proverbs 14:15 states…The naive believes everything,
but the sensible man considers his steps. Charles Bridges says, “To believe everything that God says is faith. To believe everything that man says is credulity.” Credulity is gullibility, naiveness, childish faith. It is believing something simple because you want to believe it even though facts indicate that what we are believing is not true. The word I use in reference to the ‘Naive’ is ‘Dupes.’ A dupe is a person who is easy to deceive. In my earlier years, my own credulity and naiveness cost me some serious embarrassment. When I hired on at A&P as a sack boy, the older sackers who had been there for a while sent me to the manager to ask for the key to the bubble gum machine. They told me it was my job to clean it. The manager of the store just smiles and said, “Son, they are messing with you.” I should have known better but I was very naive. DUPES are lazy thinkers who lack conviction. They believe what is convenient for them. It spares them the agony of thinking. They operate on the premise that “what we don’t know will not hurt us.” Apply this philosophy to money, medicine, mechanics or maps and see where it gets you. What you don’t know can be fatal. The vast majority of democrats are dupes. They are ignorant of the facts. Matter of fact, they do not want to know the facts. They don’t want to be confused with the facts, they might actually have to think for themselves. They prefer to be spoon fed by the media and the party big wigs. They are cutting off their nose to spite their face.

The second member of the Trio is the ‘Scoffer’. The scoffer is proud and haughty. They cannot find wisdom due to their own pride. Scoffers enjoy making fun of others. Their pride and presumption lead them to believe they are the most intelligent person in the room. This inordinate pride makes them unteachable. You cannot correct a scoffer: it makes them angry and they will retaliate with ridicule and slander. Dr. Wiersbe says, “When you try to teach a scoffer, you’re casting pearls before swine.” They will stomp the pearl in the mud and then charge you like an angry sow. Scoffers are toxic and you are well within your rights to avoid them. Proverbs 22:10, Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease. Proverbs 29:8 [NIV], Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger. The NASB reads, Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger. Scoffers start a stink and then stir it. Most of the ones I have known are very subtle. They are masters at innuendo and they love gossip. They want to engineer trouble but they don’t want it traced back to them.

The third member of this infamous trio is theFOOL’. Proverbs has more to say about the fool than any of the three and I have to be honest, a lot of it is convicting to me. The English word fool comes from the Latin follis which means bellows or windbag. The fool is full of hot air but is lacking in substance. If you deflate a fool, there is little left. It’s like the joke about Texans: How do you get two Texans in one brief cast? You deflate them. There are three Hebrew words for fool: one means stupid, the second means corrupt and the third means brutish {Nabal}. Fools may have a high IQ and be highly educated but they have no fear of God and they hate wisdom and instruction. A fool cannot even be corrected by his own father. Fools love folly and their mouths are fountains of foolishness. You cannot tell a fool anything because they already know everything. They are unteachable. Fools usually talk excessively and without thinking. Fools lack self-discipline and self-control. Fools are impulsive and are not known for restraint. They don’t generally hold back. You can not argue or reason with a fool because they are wise in their own eyes. Fools create problems and bring sorrow on those around them; especially to their parents. Fools may know the price of everything but they know the value of nothing. Thus they do not make good stewards. They tend to waste money on folly [understand, folly could be big houses and extravagant pleasures, not just frivolous spending]. Fools are irresponsible. They are not dependable and they refuse to learn from their mistakes. You cannot learn from a mistake until you acknowledge that you made one and this fools never do.

There is one rare exception: Paul was a fool, a fool for Jesus. Dr. Wiersbe saw a man at a shopping mall wearing a T-Shirt that read: I’M A FOOL FOR JESUS–WHOSE FOOL ARE YOU?

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