I must confess that I was convicted by the Word as I read this morning of how I am sometimes foolish. Three verses, closely packed at the end of 17 and beginning of 18, speak to foolishness and the use of the tongue.
“27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
As I read I also was reminded of the famous Mark Twain quote: “"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." Evidently, Mr. Twain was familiar with the Proverbs.
I know that there are times when, rather than listening to learn (2a), I am only eager in expressing my own opinion (2b). And also very often I find that when I do that, even I realize that my opinion wasn’t worth much. When that happens…how do I feel? Foolish!
So wouldn’t it be wise for me to listen more than I speak? Yes, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak….” (James 1:19)
Prayer: Father, forgive me for thinking that I need to express myself on every matter. Help me to quietly listen to what others have to say and consider it before responding. Help me to be edifying in my speech so that others will be built up and encouraged.