Responding Wisely to a FOOL

After identifying our Fool, we may ask ourselves “Now What!” We can once again turn back to the wisdom of scripture to learn how to respond while heading its warning.
Proverbs 24:25: “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”
Wisdom: Over time we can become like the angry person when we continue to be in relationship with them. The longer we stay connected the more entangled we become in their behavior.
Proverbs 13:20: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Wisdom: Physical injury and/or mental damage will occur to the companion of a FOOL. Stay away from the FOOL. We will grow in wisdom if we choose to be a companion with the wise.
Proverbs 19:19 “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.”
Wisdom: Don’t keep the FOOL from suffering the consequences of their behavior. If you rescue them, you are enabling their behavior to continue and you will have to rescue them over and over again.
Proverbs 17:12: “Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly.”
Wisdom: Keep your distance from a FOOL otherwise you will experience fierce, frightening actions that are worse than a mama bear fighting for her cubs.
Your FOOL could be your husband/wife, mother, father, sibling, your son/daughter, friend, employee, or your boss. For various reasons you may feel these individuals must remain in your life at some level.
You can begin to see the effect they are having on your life. You know you cannot change them (although you would like to fix them), but you can change how you interact with them.
The first step you can take is to DETACH. You may not be able to physically remove yourself from the FOOL’s presence, but it is important to emotionally detach. Words will still come at you from their angry lips but tell yourself “I’m dealing with a FOOL This is their foolish behavior. Their words are lies.”
Emotionally detaching is not an easy thing to do and will take practice and time for it to happen. When angry darts fly at you, try to remove yourself from the FOOL’s presence. Do something that you consider as self care. One woman went into the bathroom and turned on her radio to listen to music so she could not hear the words.
If the FOOL is at your place of employment, you may have to busy yourself with your job responsibilities. In some cases, you may have to get a new job.
Try not to lash back with angry words. You will only be adding fuel to the fire. Your words will be used against you presently as well as in the future.
Since the FOOL repeats his folly, you can in calm moments develop responses that could be options to relating to the difficult person the next time an incident happens. This will help you not to become so entangled in their behavior.
In summary:

  • Identify the FOOL in your life
  • Seek God’s wisdom in dealing with and responding to your FOOL
  • Detach or physically distance yourself from the FOOL
  • Pray for your FOOL that they will allow God to work in their heart and renew their mind so their behavior changes.
  • Forgive your FOOL

Paula Silva

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9 comments on “Responding Wisely to a FOOL
  1. Joan says:

    Ms. Silva: These are words full of wisdom. Thank you. I am married to a ‘fool’ who is very verbally abusive and also an addict (alcohol). I am 68 yrs old and the consistent, every day verbal abuse and rage are taking its toll. To complicate matters we are in business together – 24/7! I have been trying to come to your support group in Bensenville, but so far have not be successful due to our business. Help! God bless and thank you.

  2. Paula says:

    You are in a difficult situation. Please know that you can call our office at 630-617-0088 and make an appointment to see me. I am concerned about you.
    Paula

  3. Jane says:

    Hi Paula,
    First of all, thank you for taking the time to
    counsel and pray with me 4 years ago when I was in a very difficult situation. A lot has happened since then.
    Well, I tried reconciling after a 3.5 year separation from my abuser. We moved back together as a family in a new apartment 6 months ago but the old behavior wrapped in foil came back when the ink was barely dry on the new lease. The old aggression/passive aggression has merged into fine-tuned passive aggression; after all, he has to prove us wrong about him and his aggressive behavior towards his wife and kids. When he can’t control me like he did before, he gives me the silent treatment. The latest started a a couple days before our 21st anniversary last month and continues even now (even through a my health crisis/ER visit/outpatient surgery and our teen daughter’s mental health crisis which all happened over the past 4 weeks). I now await biopsy results and have been trying to rest as the Lord has instructed me to even though the bills are piling up. He actually picked fights twice during my illness because I had to take time off work. The specialist has indicated that much of what’s going on with me is stress-related. I feel stuck now and realize that we were deceived by a clever act that put us back in proximity to him and lets him exact his vengeance because we left him. Praying for final deliverance and health restored. Getting out and staying out this time.

  4. Paula says:

    Any of us can be fooled by an abuser even after a long separation. Stress can cause health issues. I am so sorry that you have experienced that. I am praying for your restoration and direction from God. He can make a way where there seems to be no way. Praying for you.
    Paula

  5. Jane says:

    Thank you so much, Paula. On a positive note, my blood pressure which was up consistently until I became ill has reach lows that I haven’t seen in long time. This is without medication and as I have been resting at home like the Lord led me to and have been meditating on His word daily. It stays low even when my h walk out the door without speaking each morning and does the reverse each evening–and I know he is angry with me for taking off work. I have reminded Abba that He promised repeatedly to care for the weak and oppressed and He knows why I am home. So working on not worrying takes effort but it pays in the end. Jesus said, “Be anxious for nothing…”. Great advice!

  6. Marie says:

    Hi. What a blessing from God to find your site. I have been married to my husband for five years. Having been raised in a violent home, apparently I subconsciously picked a man who was very wounded himself. I can’t count the number of good Christian counselors we have been to. He eventually refuses to go back – “It doesn’t work. We still fight.” The night before last he demanded I remove myself from the room where he wanted to sleep. When I told him I needed a few more minutes grabbed my laptop (work computer, not my property) and threatened to pour water on it unless I leave the room. A struggle ensued. I refuto be bullied one more time. I fell in the struggle and he crammed the door shut on my legs and arms. Eventually I extricated myself shocked at how far he would go. I did my fair share of foolishness in the struggle, grabbing him whereverI could so I would not be kicked out of my own office ( a learned behavior from my teen years). I have bruises up and down my body but the biggest bruising is on my heart. The swear words he called me, the threats

  7. Marie says:

    And the hate in his eyes still crush my heart. And yet I pray for him and for restoration of our marriage. Am I mad? Please pray for my husband and for God to intervene quickly. Thanks to all of you for being sisters in Christ.

  8. Paula says:

    I am very concerned about you, Marie. In situations of abuse, we do not recommend marriage counseling. Instead we recommend individual counseling for both partners in the marriage. Have you gone for counseling for yourself?

    The fact that your husband has threatened you and used physical violence is very concerning. Safety is important. If you have not done so yet, please take pictures of your bruises and document the incident. There is a safety plan on our website, http://www.focusministries1.org/SafetyPlan.pdf.

    Paula

  9. Paula says:

    God gives consequences when we do something wrong. Your husband has done a wrong against you. Have you given him any consequences? Prayer is good, but it needs action. God has given everyone a freewill. Your husband has to choose to listen to what God tells him to change.

    Does anyone know what is going on behind closed doors?

    Paula

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