It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning – Proverbs 17:16
The wise author of this proverb points out to us that there are people for whom there is no answer. The effort put forth to try to educate let alone reason with someone who has no heart or passion for something is futility. He is telling us to not waste our time, talent, and treasures on those who have no drive to do what it is we want them to do.
These words ring true in my heart today. We should all want every person to do well and succeed. We should want all people to realize their need for a Savior and come to repentance and live eternally with Jesus. However, we hear people teach and preach that we have to win every soul to Jesus. That just isn’t the harsh reality of life. There are those who are hell-bent and will never come to repentance. I’ve met and known several people of this ilk unfortunately for them.
I used to attend church with a man for some time who confessed his trust in Christ Jesus and acted the part of the plastic disciple. He could feign a Sunday smile with the best of them and then turn and tear the people to shreds verbally behind their backs. This person is still alive, but he has turned so far from God that he uses God as a safety net when his life is threatened. I happened to see pictures of his recovery from late last year after injuring his left knee. You’d have thought that he was going to lose his leg. I actually don’t know if he did or not.
I befriended this person in hope of having a brother in Christ to hang with and invest my time and self into as we grew together in the Lord. However, he became belligerent with everyone around him including me, turned to alcohol as his best friend, divorced his wife, moved far away, and became a lounge lizard. At that point in time, I had to turn him over to the enemy for the destruction of his flesh with the intent that his soul might be saved. To this day, some four years later, he will have no contact and refuses to repent of his wrongs. His mind is seared with reprobation. Even God has turned him over to his evil desires, as evidenced in how he now lives his life, if he’s even still alive. It is so sad, and it is pointless to keep trying to invest in this person.
He is in God’s hands now. If he returns to God, it will be a miracle. But to play the role of a fool in turning one’s back on God and refusing reconciliation shows the destitute state of the person. It makes the words of the author quite clear. If a person has no heart for learning anything including correction, reproof, teaching, instruction in righteousness, it is senseless to waste time and effort.
Father, I thank you for your love and correction when I need it. You only correct us when we need it. You do so because you want us to live right and be right, which we can only do by the power of your Spirit and through the grace and blood of Jesus. However, there are harsh realities in the Scriptures that we don’t like to face because it makes us look long and hard in the mirror and have to do things sometimes that are not pleasant. I would like to think that all people are teachable to some degree, but your word makes it clear that there are fools in the world who don’t want to learn anything, including the need for a Savior! I cry at the very thought. Help me to reach all the people in the world whom I am to teach truth of the Good News to and love on them through discipleship. I want your will done in and through me, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.