We all say foolish things at times. I’m the world’s worst for putting my foot in my mouth at funerals. I’ve learned to just remain silent in those moments, letting my eyes and touch speak what my words cannot. Flubs happen, but we can do something to lessen those occurrences.
The writer of this proverb was speaking about those fools who are arrogant and callous. Those who fling their thoughts out into the world, regardless the ramifications. Those who spout ridicule with little regard for history, ancestors, or truth.
We live in a time when those most impassioned and vocal are deemed the purveyors of truth as they demand that everyone agree with that truth.
This bit of biblical wisdom reminds us that choosing our words is not only necessary, but wise. We don’t have to say everything that comes into our minds. Words can wound as well as create friction and bring down wrath. Gentle answers turn away wrath while harsh answers make tempers flare.
If you want to be wise, you must become truly discerning of what is about to come from your mouth. You have to engage your brain before allowing any reaction to erupt. Instead of simply blurting the knowledge you have, you must determine how it actually applies to that situation and whether it needs to be said and said in the way you’re about to say it.
But, we’re told today that silence is complicity. We’ve become very vocal about every issue that comes along, and many think that because one doesn’t speak, they are going along with whatever the bad in that issue is. That thought process does not take into account what’s happening behind the scenes.
We can rant and rave and rail over the evil that happens in our world and that changes nothing. We can get to work helping victims, and helping to demolish the evil, never uttering a word, and be much more effective.
Wisdom is in losing our arrogance, thinking we’re the only one right and the only one with rights to say so. Wisdom comes from recognizing that there is ONE source of all wisdom: God. It is in our fear and awe of Him—His power, His character, His love, His grace—that we find true wisdom.
James says we can’t tame this tongue of ours, and I believe that. What we can do is refuse to spout off without thinking things through.
To respond is better than to react.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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