Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil ferment and stink; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. A wise man’s heart [goes] to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool. If the ruler’s anger rises against you, don’t leave your place, for calmness puts great offenses to rest. Eccl 10:1-4 (HCSB)
When shopping in a farmer’s market for a bushel of apples, it is hard to realize at first glance if the bushel you are looking at has any signs of a bad apple that could impact the goodness of the others. If you do not take the time to inspect all the apples before storing them away, there is the chance one bad apple could turn into many bad apples in no time. The same is true in a group of people – one fool can cause others harm. The fool can disguise himself among the others until he begins to misdirect the others.
Because it is the natural instinct within mankind to be a follower, there is a constant risk of choosing the wrong leader to follow. However, time always reveals the folly of the fool, and those who have followed him begin to realize they are at risk unless they change leadership and leave the fool behind. So choose wisely the leaders you have the choice to follow, even if you discover the error of the choice at some time, there will be a cost for the time you followed the fool.
What can we do? Just like a being at the farmer’s market choosing apples that experience will help you avoid investing in bushels with bad apples. The same is true in life. The closer you are to God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, the more likely you can recognize those who are opposed to living the right way in life, and only seek their own selfish folly. When one claims to have all the answers, our response should be simple: RUN! Although you may become wiser and more mature, you will never be fully wise or fully mature, as if you are our own god. What the wise man realizes is that the wiser you become, the more dependent you become to placing your faith in God and following Him alone with confidence. When you come to that point God will help you to be more alert to the folly of others.
Where do you place your trust for your choices in life?
Finally, pray for us, brothers, that the Lord’s message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to God’s love and Christ’s endurance. 2 Thess 3:1-5 (HCSB)