The Wisdom of Keeping Silent

Proverbs 17:27-28 – Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

One of the most obvious manifestations of the foolishness of pride is the desire to air our own thoughts and opinions. That’s why Solomon says that "even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." Even if a person isn’t intelligent, the fact that he keeps silent leads others to believe that he is humble and wise.

This is a theme that runs throughout the book of Proverbs. In verse 11 of chapter 29, Solomon writes, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” In verse 20 he writes, “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” The idea seems to be that as bad as folly is, what is worse is a man who does not know how to keep silent. An abundance of words is almost a sure sign of pride and folly.

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August 01 2011 04:00 am | Devotional

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