Wisdom Comes from God

“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Prov. 17:28.

One of my children gets in trouble for blurting out the answers in school. This has been a problem since pre-kindergarten. We tell him he must count to ten before he offers an answer, so other students have a chance to participate. Recently, I realized that maybe (okay, it is very probable) he got this from me.

In school, it wasn’t a problem for me because I was afraid of getting in trouble, but as an adult, I’m finding I must pinch my lips shut and count. I like to say it’s because God gives me so many great ideas, and I need to share them before I forget them. Since the second part may actually be true, I now write down my thoughts and wait my turn…most of the time.

But what I’m learning is that when I give others a chance, they often say what I was thinking or express something in a way that I had never considered. This may seem obvious to everyone else, and even as I write it, it sounds like a kindergarten rule. But when I am making the intentional effort to listen and wait, the results are significant.

“Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. For a man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20.

While not all hurried talk is spoken in anger, it often lacks the kind of wisdom that glorifies God. When we, or at least I, listen, think, sometimes even study and pray, we can speak in a way that God desires. Nothing is worse than saying something and wanting to take back the words. Trust me, I know from experience. I still replay conversations when I lost my cool or didn’t think through the ripple effect of my words. Of course, this does give me a chance to practice apologizing. Also, something I’m working on, but that’s a topic for another time. (Y’all, pray for me.)

“The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.” Ecc. 9:17. Do you know people like this? They don’t say anything, listening to all sides of an issue, and then they quietly give the most profound remarks. Oh, how I want to be like those people.

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11.

One of my favorite things about writing is getting the chance to edit and rewrite. Unfortunately, we don’t get that opportunity in our conversations, so it is best to listen and be thoughtful in our responses. I love in Nehemiah when he says a quick prayer before approaching the king. What would our discussions look like if we all offered a prayer before offering our opinions? What would the world look like if we listened to God more than we listened to ourselves? Here is a hint: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10.

Yes, please. I don’t think we can have too much wisdom and understanding in our lives especially the kind that comes from God.

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