Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In her book Fool Proofing Your Life, Jan Silvious says a biblical fool has these three characteristics:

1.    Always thinks he is right
           The way of a fool is right in his own eye,
           But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
           Proverbs 12:15

2.     Uses anger to control
           A fool always loses his temper,
           But a wise man holds it back. Proverbs 29:11

3.     Trusts his own heart
           He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
           But he who walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

In an attempt to change our fool or just to keep things on an even keel, Jan says we use foolish strategies over and over.
  • Pampering
  • Pouting
  • Passivity
  • Protecting
  • Pleading
  • Pleasing
  • Prodding
Any of these responses indicate the fool is controlling the relationship, one the fool has defined.

Jan asks us to consider this question, “What will it take for the companion of a fool, to stop doing the same thing over  and over again?” It is insanity. I believe the answer lies in boundaries.

Set Boundaries with an Iron Hand and a Velvet Glove

The iron hand of firmness and the velvet glove of grace. The best response to our fools is an assertive one.

We have 3 ways to deal with others:  passively, assertively, and aggressively. 

·         Passive:  We can passively stand by and let others direct our lives and our relationships.

·         Aggressive:  We can aggressively cross boundaries and make sure everyone knows that we are in charge or that we are needy. This is often an angry outburst, an over the top response.

·         Assertive:  We can go for the middle and assertively state our beliefs and our boundaries. This is a case when the middle ground is the appropriate one.

Kind (velvet) but firm (iron) boundary setting is healthy. Boundaries allow us to take responsibility for our own lives. They keep the focus on our positive proactive response to the foolish person instead of negative reactive response. Boundaries keep us from being a victim of the fool.  Our responsibility in a relationship is to do whatever we can do to make the relationship a good one.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

A relationship with Biblical fool is challenging. Setting boundaries with a measured, even, assertive tone and then enforcing the boundaries allows you to define the relationship.
Be firm, direct, and follow through!

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