Arguing with a fool is a useless venture

Published 6:12 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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In the 1980s, A&W tried to compete with the McDonalds Quarter Pounder by selling a 1/3 pound burger at an even lower cost.

The grand idea failed. Want to know why this product failed? Most customers thought the quarter pounder was bigger. Sometimes in life we have to deal with folks who truly feel they’re right, even when they’re obviously wrong.

Some folks have been told false/inaccurate information and they stand their ground strong even while they are nowhere near the truth.

People will argue until they are blue in the face, and even when you prove just how incorrect they are they simply get even madder and cause more issues.

The old adage of “the truth shall set you free” doesn’t always apply with some folks.

How about this? Have you even been told to not argue with an idiot because then it becomes difficult to tell who is whom? This is actually a biblical concept. In Proverbs 26:4-12 we read the following, “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation. Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison! A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg. Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot. A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk. An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.”

You may wish to read those verses a few more times. From not arguing with fools, to not answering foolishness in hopes of not being dragged down (making yourself look and sound foolish) by foolishness, to even striving to correct foolishness in hopes of steering them in the right direction. Why, this passage even gives comedic images of fools being the type of folks who tie strings to the stones they plan on shooting from a slingshot, how arguing with a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg, and how a foolish person will keep making the same mistakes without ever learning “as a dog returns to its vomit.” Gross.

The Talmud offers a wise saying, “Never tell a fool that he is a fool. All you’ll have is an angry fool.”

May you be wise in every way.


Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at