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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:9

Proverbs 29:9

"When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest."

This is a fascinating proverb, spelling out why there is never any resolution in an argument with a fool. They don't want to resolve a difficulty; they only want their way. They don't want peace; they just want their way.

All of us have acted like the fool before – unwilling to compromise, unwilling to consider other options, unwilling to consider that we could be wrong, unwilling to listen to a different perspective, unwilling to consider new information. We just want what we want. When we are like this, we need to abandon our selfishness and pride and begin acting like a wise person even though we may not feel like it. If not, then we will slide into the discipline of a fool and there will be no rest.

When foolishness rears its ugly head, the person is only concerned with what they want. This disease attacks teens as they argue with their parents over clothes, hair, friends, curfew, grades, etc. One of the things that parents must perceive is when they are arguing with their child and when they are arguing with foolishness in their child. There is no rest if you argue with foolishness. They just want their way or they won't calm down. This is, however, exactly what the wise person in authority must not give them. It would be disastrous for a fool to get their way – especially in certain instances.

When colleagues, partners, or spouses have a disagreement, it is crucial that one or both parties not act like a fool or there will be no ability to resolve the issue. Selfish, angry, and demanding are the dominant impulses in a fool. It is not possible to make peace with this person unless they win and wisdom loses.

Notice that the fool does one of two things to deflect attention away from the truth that they have no real basis for what they want to do other than that they want to do it. They rage or they laugh. They latch on almost anything to be angry at as a way of hiding the lack of substance to their argument. Emotion is substituted for logic. They also laugh at the person, ridicule the person, or even the idea – but not with facts, usually with questions. Many arguments in our day are trying to be settled by laughter, ridicule, sarcasm, or straw men rather than the facts of the case. Take for instance NeoDarwinian evolution. The scientists know that they have no mechanism for evolution as mutation; natural selection is not sufficient for the creation of new kinds of life. But rather than have a serious discussion about evolution or intelligent design or creation, they ridicule or laugh or sarcastically attack. They do not want rest because they are in authority. As long as there is no clear winner, they remain in power telling people there is no God, no judgment day, etc.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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