Fools, Folly, and Fun

What do you consider to be entertaining, amusing, and fun?  This may seem like a trivial question, but it can actually be quite important.  This is because everything that you do, say, and see becomes a part of who you are.  The things that you do for the sake of entertainment are just as much a part of you as the things you do for work, education, worship, or anything else.

One of the ways you reveal your heart is by the things that amuse you.  For example, if your heart delights in nature, then you may choose hunting, fishing, or hiking for a hobby.  If your heart delights in serving others, then you may choose to spend your spare time in a way that allows you to make things for other people (sewing, woodworking, cooking, etc.).  If your heart delights in your family, then you may be amused simply by doing things with them.  Whatever the case, the things that you do and the way you use your time expose your heart’s values.

For some, this revelation of their hearts is troublesome.  Many in our current culture are amused by filthy jokes, promiscuous stories, gossip, pornography, graphic violence, greed, covetousness, and various displays of evil.  This is evident by their consumption of suggestive and lewd sitcom television shows, trashy books, tabloid magazines, Jerry Springer-type programs, dirty movies, violent video games, gambling, etc.  If a person delights in such things, then the values of his heart are evil and wrong.  If your find yourself entertained by such things, then you should be very troubled about the content of your heart.

Consider two descriptions given in Proverbs of a person who is amused with evil things.  Proverbs 10:23 contrasts such a person with an understanding man, saying, “Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, and so is wisdom to a man of understanding.”  Proverbs 15:21 describes a similar contrast – “Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.”  In these passages and throughout Proverbs, “fool” does not mean a stupid person, but rather it means an evil person.  Likewise, “folly” does not mean stupidity or ignorance, but rather it means sin, evil, and wickedness in defiance of God.  Understanding these terms helps us understand the essential message of these passages, which is that a person who delights in evil is himself evil in the sight of God.

Being evil themselves, those who delight in evil are destined to suffer the same dreadful fate as all evil persons.  The joy of the wicked will be turned to misery, for Proverbs 14:13 says, “Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief.”  God spoke of the end of the wicked in Isaiah 66:3-4 – “As they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations, so I will choose their punishments and will bring on them what they dread.  Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen.  And they did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight.”  Destruction is a steep price to pay for the sake of entertainment, amusement, and fun, but it is the due punishment for a heart that delights in wickedness instead of the goodness of God.

The appetites of those who crave evil entertainment have led to an increased supply of such wickedness, and this puts all of us in danger.  Our culture is awash in carnal appeals that are marketed to all ages through every possible avenue.  We who are Christians need to be on constant guard lest our own hearts be corrupted.  The history of Israel presents warnings against these things, for “these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved” (1Cor. 10:6).  The Scriptures also promise protection for the wise against those who are amused by evil, saying, “Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from…those…who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil…” (Proverbs 2:11-14).  By these, it is evident that we need to turn to God’s word to lead us away from the ruinous path of evil.

Think about your own heart.  You know your own heart and mind better than anyone else on earth.  Do you delight in evil even a little?  Do you secretly snicker at the filthy jokes of your coworkers?  Do you sneak a peak at that trashy magazine on the newsstand?  Do your ears perk up to hear the latest gossip about your neighbor?  Do you make a bet on a sporting event in the office pool?  Do you watch that suggestive television show behind closed doors?  Be warned – what you may have considered as harmless amusement is putting your heart in danger.  Remember, “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves” (Rom. 14:22), and love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (1Cor. 13:6).  Now more than ever, we all need to saturate our minds with the word of God and drown out every opportunity for evil.

Stacey E. Durham


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