The Wisdom In Being Silent

By Brian Thompson

“He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is counted prudent.” (Proverbs 17:27-28)

I believe this world would be in a lot less trouble if it would listen more and speak less. It seems that everyone wants to be heard more and to listen less. Christians are told by James to, “be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). In other words, listen first to what others have to say, speak only when necessary and then you’ll avoid being hurt or hurting others.

Solomon says, “A fool does not delight in understanding (in listening and learning from others), but only in revealing his own mind” (Proverbs 18:2). It’s not always what we said that makes us wise but what we didn’t say. Sometimes what we said does more harm than we could ever have imagined.

So when it comes to opening our mouth and saying what we feel compelled to say we’d be wise to consider if our words will achieve the righteousness of God or make us appear foolish and selfish in the eyes of others.

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