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When You’re the Fool

A foolish person is associated with silly, imprudent or unwisely actions. Observers of this behavior often label these individuals as buffoons, dunces, idiots or my personal favorite, ignoramus. Unfortunately, everyone plays the fool at some point in life. The sad part is when you’re the fool, pride can blind you the realization of past bonehead decisions that you’ve made.

He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment. A [self-confident] fool has no delight in understanding but only in revealing his personal opinions and himself, Proverbs 18:1-2.

King Solomon draws an interesting parallel in the passage above. Considered one of the wisest leaders of his era in history, people came from throughout the Middle East to hear Solomon speak. Solomon refers to foolishness as a spiritual condition. Anyone who denies God’s existence, Romans 1:20-21, misses the invisible and visible signs of the Creator of earth. A fool becomes so self absorbed that their understanding is limited.

And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up, [enough] for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself merrily. 20 But God said to him, You fool! This very night they [the messengers of God] will demand your soul of you; and all the things that you have prepared, whose will they be? – Luke 12:19-20

One of Jesus’ parables blames foolishness on complacency. After spending years of building up a successful business, the owner of this storehouse got too comfortable. Instead of retiring and spending the rest of his life living in luxury, Jesus suggests that this man will die of a heart attack before leaving a will. Subsequently, the wealth this man accumulated throughout life would be wasted due to a lack of planning. Thus, the sooner you acknowledge foolish behavior, the quicker you can turn your life around before it’s too late to change.

by Jay Mankus

Unhinged

Bonkers, confused and loopy describe individuals who have become unhinged.  Emotions can make someone unbalanced, rambling on about their blight.  Following the election of Donald Trump to be the 45th president of the United States, a day doesn’t gone by without a liberal from Hollywood becoming unhinged on social media.  These statements often resemble phrases written by King Solomon in the Old Testament.

Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool, Proverbs 26:7.

In today’s politically correct climate, the verse above would elicit outrage if read out loud.  Immediately, there would be calls for protests, public apologies and some sort of punishment for expressing such a thought.  Yet, these same critics do not realize how many Americans are offended by their daily tirades.  As liberals, progressives and socialists continue to search for reasons why Hillary lost, the silent majority sit quietly on the sidelines entertained by the unhinged foolish behavior displayed by poor sports.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly, Proverbs 26:11.

When you can get a word in among a group of chatty individuals, the best thing to do is let them keep talking.  Unless you have something important to say, its better to let the unhinged continue their rants.  In the end, words are meaningless without action.  Subsequently, all the celebrities who have failed to follow through on their vows to leave this country after Trump won has disqualified themselves, losing all credibility.  Though tomorrow will likely bring another meltdown, get your popcorn ready for another laugh as fools continue their folly.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Fool’s Eyes

One of my favorite quotes from Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks is “stupid is as stupid does.”  Sometimes its easier to recognize stupidity rather than go into specific details.  A common synonym for stupid is foolish.  This label is earned when an ill-advised act, choice or word is made.

A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth, Proverbs 17:24.

According to King Solomon, fools tend to get distracted.  Instead of thinking before you act, the world provides ample temptations to lose your way.  While the discerning keep wisdom in sight, fools wander off the straight and narrow.  The longer an individual indulges in the pleasures in life, the hardest it becomes to leave this wayward road.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world, 1 John 2:16.

People don’t wake up and decide I’m going to do something foolish.  Rather, a series of compromises places souls on a path toward destruction.  The naive believe they will be able to turn back whenever they want.  Unfortunately, the fool’s eyes often wait until they are on verge on death before coming to their senses.  May those struggling at this moment heed the verses in scriptures above to escape a fool’s eyes before its too late.

by Jay Mankus

 

What the Hell are You Doing?

Every so often I am surprised by something I hear.  Sometimes its a conversation, an interview or watching another star athlete get into trouble.  Yet, this morning as I was critiquing the driver’s in front of me, I heard God’s voice whisper to me, “what the hell are you doing?”

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools, Ecclesiastes 7:9.

It’s easy to point the finger at others, exposing people’s flaws, imperfections and weaknesses.  However, when the criticism is pointed in your direction, its hard to accept.  Like a blind spot in a car’s mirror, I guess I’ve been carrying on with my life without seeing who or what I’ve become.  The best response to my growing impatience is “what the hell am I doing?”

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19.

According to Solomon, my recent commentary of bad drivers is foolish.  While my mind thinks these observations are accurate, a first century apostle refers to my behavior as selfish and judgmental.  What I’m actually doing is being a poor example of Christ.  Thus, the next time you find yourself looking in the rear view mirror, wondering the the hell the driver behind you is doing, reflect on God’s Word, the Bible, to see how you can better represent Jesus in the the future.  Change now or you too may hear God say, “what the hell are you doing?”

by Jay Mankus

 

Idiots on Golf Courses

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools, Proverbs 26:3.

The internet contains a series of theories on why golf is on the decline in America.  One suggests a shrinking middle class is killing golf.  Others point to the amount of time its takes to play 18 holes causing once diehards to opt to spent their time elsewhere.  As for me, I’m more blunt, believing there are too many idiots on golf courses.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid, Proverbs 12:1.

Before I could play on a golf course as a kid, I had to take a test on the rules of the game.  In addition, I had to shoot a set score for four and nine holes prior to being able to play 18 holes of golf.  Although golf might have been seen as an elitist sport in these days, there was a respect for the game and courses available for play.  Today, golf courses will allow any hack to play as long as they fork over money for their greens fees.

O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense, Proverbs 8:5.

According to Webster, an idiot consists of a challenged, foolish or stupid individual, unable to see the error of their way.  Much like the twosome in front of me today, students from the Happy Gilmore school of golf.  However, this couple waited for each green to clear, several hundred yards away before chunking shots that went 30-50 yards at a time.  This scenario continued like Groundhog Day for 9 holes ruining a beautiful day and my son’s desire to play any more holes.  If the popularity of Tiger Woods, Rory Mcilroy and Jordan Spieth can’t stop this trend, idiots on golf courses will reign supreme until desperate measures are taken.

Please feel free to share your own feelings on this topic.

by Jay Mankus

 

Life is Just a Blip on the Radar Screen

Modern television is filled with episodes or series devoted to UFO’s, unidentified flying objects.  Several shows claim unidentified “bogeys” entering foreign air space. They are not from this world, far more technologically advanced than our planet.  These blips on radar screens don’t belong, creating tension for pilots who encounter the unexplainable.  As theories continue to fester about the existence of aliens, one thing is certain: life is just a blip on the radar screen.

Depending upon the career you choose, hand you’ve been dealt or how you were raised, life seems to go faster the older you become.  While talking to former students at a going away party over the weekend, my teaching career seems eons ago.  Before you know it, 7th graders are graduating from high school, accelerating this blip, like the USS Enterprise at warp speed.  On this journey through life, unless you take time to slow down, Psalm 46:10, your life will be void of permanent meaningful lasting relationships.

King David eludes to this blip in Psalm 49:10, where no one is exempt as the foolish and wise perish together.  Perhaps this may explain Solomon’s comments in Proverbs about using wealth to earn and entertain friends, taking his father’s words to heart.  The younger brother of Jesus learned a similar lesson, comparing life to a mist that vanishes into thin air, James 4:14.  In view of this truth, seize the moments you have today, Ephesians 5:15-18, making the most of the opportunities God provides.  Make your blip count before it disappears on life’s radar screen.

What legacy are you leaving behind for friends, family or neighbors? Who has been the greatest blip on your radar screen?

by Jay Mankus

The Purging of Fools

According to Webster, a fool demonstrates imprudence, silly behavior and unwise acts.  Today, it doesn’t take much effort to recognize foolishness in our culture.  Idiots, imbeciles and morons are making millions as reality TV stars.  Whether its the annoying person on Survivor, the American Idol contestant who can’t sing a lick or drunks on Moonshiners, some where along the way being foolish is now cool, especially if you can amuse others with laughter.

If there was an uncensored version of the Bible, I’m sure Moses muttered numerous things under his breath as he tried to lead a nation of fools into God’s promised land.  As Moses and Joshua listened to God for 40 days, providing guidelines for life, Aaron was holding down the fort as the high priest of Israel until they returned.  Like the blind leading the blind, Aaron panicked, failed to demonstrate leadership and broke the first 2 commandments by creating a golden calf in Exodus 32.  While most pastors stop their sermons here, I’ve never heard anyone speak of the purging of fools.

When the principle enters a classroom unannounced, students usually settle down, putting on their best behavior to avoid getting in trouble.  Unfortunately, when Moses rolled back into camp in Exodus 32:25-28, thousands of Israelites ignored Moses’ entrance, partying like it was 1999.  Like a coach or teacher trying to see who’s paying attention in class, Moses makes a challenge that is answered by the Levites, the priestly tribe, seemingly the only group disturbed by Israel’s reckless behavior.  Subsequently, God purged Israel of 3000 fools, who were not willing to obey or respect God’s commands.

In the New Testament, we find a kinder, gentler God, who offers His grace to those who believe in Jesus, Ephesians 2:4-8.  However, not much has changed since the days of Moses as millions are still living for the day, partying each weekend and are redefining foolishness with acts that  would make Sodom and Gomorrah blush.  As a circus of fools spread throughout America and across the world, may God have mercy, open the eyes of the spiritually blind and transform their lives before foolish acts result in death and destruction.

by Jay Mankus

Inquiring Minds Want Answers

One of the most difficult tasks I have ever been assigned was trying to teach Junior High students the Bible for 5 years.  If I wrote down all the questions asked during my lectures, I could have written a thorough sex ed curriculum.  While some of my students were simply trying to waste time, others asked great questions that needed a reply.  When inquiring minds want answers, those in authority or leadership positions must feed these hungry souls.

As I started to read the Old Testament again, memories of these questions reverberated within my mind.  Once deemed foolish, I am beginning to share a similar interest into the mysteries of the Bible.  For example, why is nakedness now equated with shame, Genesis 2:25?  Did Cain marry his sister, Genesis 4:17 or did God created other females beside Eve, Genesis 5:1-2?  Does Genesis 4:10 explain the concept of ghosts, haunted houses and dead spirits which still dwell on certain properties?  Finally, does Genesis 6:1-4 refer to aliens, fallen angels or mixed marriages between giants and normal human beings?

I wish I could answer these questions with a sense of certainty and clarity, but I can’t.  Theologians vary, debating these and other topics for centuries.  All I can do is provide my best guess based upon my years of study and training.

1) Marriage is a sacred covenant that you make to another man or woman.  Once you consecrate this bond, there should be no shame among one another.

2) Based upon the time line of Leviticus 18, it appears God allowed intermarriage initially until the population of Israel was large enough.  Once written and communicated by Moses, this type of act was prohibited.

3) Since Jesus and his disciple use the term ghost throughout all 4 gospels, it appears that ghosts and spirits did exist by the first century.  Therefore, the growing accounts of paranormal activity today suggest what happened to Abel certainty does occur.

4) Before answering this final question, Genesis 6:1-4 is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible.  If you link the great pyramids of Egypt, the great wall of China and other architectural wonders of the world, some credit this advanced knowledge to either aliens or fallen angels.  However, the Tower of Babel is erected due to an one world language, making nothing impossible for mankind according to Genesis 11:3-6.  Thus, like many mysteries, you will have to wait until the after life to know for sure.

As inquiring minds send me more questions, I will try my best to answer each from a biblical perspective.  Continue to following the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, testing everything you hear or read with the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Fool Yourself

Hebrews 4:12 refers to the Bible as containing living and active words.  This unique characteristic sets the Bible apart from all other books ever written.  Ranked as one of the top selling books annually, the Bible has become the greatest seller of all time.  However, when you open this book to read it, don’t fool yourself like a narcissist by thinking you are better than you actually are.

When I opened Proverbs 26 today, God gave me a revelation, new insight to what King Solomon is trying to communicate to readers.  Solomon devotes this particular chapter to qualities of a fool.  Like a Litness Test to assess your degree of foolishness, chapter 26 contains over 20 traits of a fool.  Though you may rate yourself low, similar to a golfer who is under par, Romans 3:23 suggest everyone possesses at least one of these foolish attributes.

The apostle Paul gives new meaning to the term fool in the New Testament.  In his epistle to the educated citizens of Corinth, Paul makes being a fool not so bad.  According to 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16, wisdom does not come from schooling, which encourages students to trust in themselves.  Rather, wisdom is obtained through the power of the Holy Spirit, leading one to put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus.  While the world will continue to emphasize intelligence, becoming a fool for Christ will have the last laugh.  Therefore, don’t be a fool by following Jesus, – 1 Corinthians 1:27-31.

by Jay Mankus

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