Well, did you survive April Fool’s Day? Or are you one of those who pulls the pranks on others?
I can remember having lots of fun on the first day of April through the years. Sometimes, the joke was on me, but even then, the laughter was real. One of my best friend’s birthday is April 1. It was a lot of fun to refer to him as the April fool, and he always was a good sport about it.
The word fool is an interesting one. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned us against referring to anyone with that term. His point was that our anger, along with hateful words, was more dangerous to us than to others. We must take care how we speak to, and about, those around us.
On the other hand, the Bible speaks often about the fool. The word is used 42 times in the book of Proverbs alone. And in Psalm 53:1, we read, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
Clearly, the biblical idea of the fool is not someone who plays pranks on others. Rather, the fool is one who has made the conscience choice to ignore and turn away from God. The fool is not someone without intelligence, but someone who makes the willful decision to reject the evidence that God is and that God loves.
I’ve met a few people who have referred to themselves as avowed atheists. Most say that the evidence has led them to that conclusion. But it doesn’t take long to come to the conclusion that for most (if not all) of these folks, the reason they reject the reality of God is simple. They do not wish to answer to a higher power. It is much easier to live as you please if you refuse to accept that God exists.
The majority of references to the fool in the book of Proverbs speaks of one who “despises his father’s instruction,” or who is “reckless and careless.” And then there is this final thought in Proverbs 28:26 — “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool.” None of us likes to think of it that way. But the point is simple: To trust in self rather than in the one who created all things is foolish. And it leads to destruction.
April Fool’s Day can be a fun and funny day. But being a fool, at least by biblical definition, is not funny I don’t want to be a fool in God’s sight. I choose to trust in him, knowing that he always knows what is best for me.
Even when I cannot see the way, God is with me. And that is my greatest hope.