It’s not how anyone wants to be described.
It’s someone who bets their savings on a football game – or who stores up cash without a thought for God or the life to come (Luke 12:18).
‘God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.”’ Luke 12:20
We don’t want to hear that verdict as we meet our Maker. So how do we avoid it?
In one sense, King David clearly describes what it means to be a fool:
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.”’ Psalm 14:1
So, atheists? Richard Dawkins and co? Well, yes – they’re certainly denying God’s existence.
But atheism is when people say there’s no God in their heads. David’s describing people who deny God in their hearts.
And that could include me and you.
People who say: ‘I believe in God,’ can still be foolish if their life’s driven by an unbelieving heart which doesn’t trust God’s good commands.
This might look like using the gift of money without considering the Giver, not bringing our anxieties to our Father or making a hard decision without praying.
According to David, this is our hearts saying: ‘There is no God.’ And it’s foolish.
The flipside of foolishness is wisdom. And wisdom starts with ‘the fear of the Lord’ (Proverbs 9:10).
Fearing God isn’t about being scared; it’s about accepting God’s loving rule and committing to obeying him.
The wise man built his house – his life – on the rock of God’s word.
‘But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.’ Matthew 7:26
Being a fool isn’t just about what you believe; it’s about what you build your life on. The wise person finds their hope in, and builds their life on, Jesus Christ.