“Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”
Proverbs 17:28 NKJV
As I read this scripture this morning, I pictured several people standing in silence. If I didn’t know them personally I would have no way of determining anything about their personality simply by their appearance. Are they wise or foolish, kind or hateful, humble or proud … none of these character traits are visible until we speak.
What a wonderful gift we possess in language. Yet, this gift can also be a deadly weapon. Contrary to the childhood rhythm, words are way more powerful than sticks and stones. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 tells us our words are so powerful they either create life or death.
I have said many things that I regret. I’m sure you can relate. Oftentimes our words mark us with labes that can be difficult to erase.
I can not change my past, but I can learn from it. I can seek to guard my tongue and allow wisdom rather than emotion to dictate when and what I speak. It’s a difficult task. It’s so much easier to blurt out whatever comes to my foolish mind!
Sometimes the wisest thing we can do is be silent. Perhaps if we spent more time listening than speaking we would in fact become wiser.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 teaches us there is a time to speak, and a time to remain silent. Wisdom comes in determining which time you are presented with.
Father, thank You for the gift of speech. Help me to use words wisely, to speak life over death, healing over hurt, wisdom over foolishness. Help me know when to speak and when to remain silent.