“The fool says in his heart ‘There is no God’” Psalm 14:1. To deny God is to foster a foolish heart. Period. End of thought.
But, there are many other manifestations of foolishness of heart toward others, and the Proverbs are filled with insight here. “A chattering fool comes to ruin” (10:10) and “Whoever spreads slander is a fool” (10:18) and “A fool shows his annoyance” (12:16) and “A fool is hotheaded and reckless” (14:16) and “A fool spurns his father’s discipline” (15:5) and “Every fool is quick to quarrel” (20:3) and “A fool repeats his folly” (26:11) and “A fool gives full vent to his anger” (29:11).
Foolishness comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Fools consider their heart as their own and left to their own devices end up foolishly inconsiderate toward all others. It’s almost as if a foolish heart is the ancient term for what we know today as a narcissist. A self-absorbed person is unable to see anyone else but themselves. Therefore, to act in such unbecoming ways isn’t seen by the narcissist. There is no clear self-awareness to a fool. Others can see it in them, experience their world by projection, and suffer (often quietly) as a result.
When have you seen a foolish heart lately? And, in what ways has your own heart led you down foolish paths yourself? When “fools” submit to God, He imparts them with wisdom. That’s the grand irony of the gospel. God takes the foolishness of the cross and transforms it into the outstretched arms of love. God takes the foolish heart and makes it wise, courageous, eternally focused. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Cor. 1:26). I love the upside down nature of God and His Gospel unto our Salvation!
So, my friend, stop looking over your shoulder at the foolish heart of another and look inwardly and prayerfully toward your own foolishness of heart. Allow the Spirit to renew your heart and revive it into a wise and discerning heart. Invite God to lavish his forgiving love upon the foolish places in your heart where you have denied him full access. Then watch how God himself takes that which was previously foolish and makes it all brand new. That’s the power and the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to Him alone belongs all dominion, honor, and praise.