Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:1
"Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool"
like snow in summer and like rain in harvest
The focus is on appropriateness. It is not appropriate to add value to a person who is selfish, impulsive, and rebellious. When a person who is a moral fool has value added to him or her, it destroys that person. It adds credence to their already inflated opinion of themselves.
We make choices every day that will move us in the direction of foolishness or wisdom. Are we only thinking about what we want and what feels good at the moment or are we contemplating a world full of others who could win or lose by our decisions? Every one of us has talents that we have been given by God for the benefit of our families, churches, societies, and ourselves. If we do not develop our souls to the level of our talents, then we could easily be tipped over by the honor our talent brings. When the talent we have is not matched by a soul of humility, service, and love then the value, praise, and glory that comes through using our abilities will push us into a barren land of foolishness and aloneness.
so honor is not fitting for a fool
The word honor means to add value. To admire the ability or skill or gifts or actions of another is to respect someone, but to honor someone is going beyond just acknowledging their ability or action and to add value to them. This is appropriate for those who demonstrate righteous wisdom. If someone is valued past their ability, skill, or action when they are a fool (selfish, impulsive, and rebellious), it will reinforce their wrongheaded notion that the world does revolve around them. It will push them further into selfishness and pride.
This adding value to the already overinflated ego is a constant activity in our day and age. We flatter ego-bloated politicians. We have created Christian celebrities who have one talent but no humility. It is this honor that contributes to their destruction. When one allows people to praise you and value you for that which God should get glory and credit for, it pushes you in the direction of destruction.
Recently I became aware of a prominent pastor who destroyed his ministry through moral failure. Those who knew him state quite clearly that he came across as arrogant and playing at the edges of Christian or moral behavior. He was highly valued for his ability to speak. That skill contributed to his own inflated opinion of himself and led to his downfall.
Two lessons here for us: Do not accept praise and honor as though you did it all but rather pass it on and realize that what you are is the result of what God and others have done to, for, and with you. Second, do not flatter a person who is a moral fool or you will contribute to their ultimate destruction. Also, do not allow yourself to be honored or praised when you are being foolish, selfish, impulsive, rebellious. It is inappropriate and it will be destructive.