The Wise Fool
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 considered prudent. Proverbs 17:27-28
A man of understanding is a man with wisdom. Someone with wisdom restrains and filters their speech. They are cautious in what they say, they don’t exaggerate and their words do not cause harm to others. My father is always an example of few words. He doesn’t have a lot to say but when he talks everyone listens because he has been pondering what to say for some time. We consider his words because he says so little but the words he says are wise.
The picture of Thumper comes to me when I think about my words. In the movie Bambi, Thumper (a rabbit) and Bambi (a baby deer) are friends. Thumper is quick to say things and when he meets Bambi, the young deer is wobbly on his legs since he was just born. Bambi gets ahead of himself and falls down. The rabbit family makes sure Bambi is okay and then Thumper steps up and says, ”He doesn’t walk very good, does he?” Thumper’s mom is not very happy and calls him out. “What did your father tell you this morning?” Thumper rather sheepishly replies, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
This is what Proverbs is trying to tell us, sometimes we just need to keep silent. Our silence reflects understanding or wisdom. A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words (Ecclesiastes 3:5). Be quiet. In the silence we hear God’s voice. When we are quiet and still we have time to think before we speak and when we think before we speak we speak more accurately and more edifying. We often struggle with the silence, feeling a need to fill it depths but when we don’t know what to say, it is okay not to say anything at all. Always remember Proverbs, even a fool is considered wise when he keeps quiet. Measure your words, sometimes silence is what is needed.
Pastor Julia Scott