”He that has knowledge
spares his words:
and a man of understanding
is of an excellent spirit.
28) Even a fool,
when he holds his peace,
is counted wise:
and he that shuts his lips
is esteemed a man of understanding.
An amplified paraphrase of this verse might say something like, “It is smart to not talk too much because we have so much to learn. Knowing that our perspective is limited, it is always best to exercise self control and be quiet, no matter how an issue may look or make us feel. Even simpletons are thought of favorably when they keep quiet.”
There is an old saying that goes, "It is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." (Although Lincoln and Twain are credited with having penned it, it seems that this phrase’s actual originator chose to remain silent, thus practicing its principle).
A person may lack knowledge and still be wise by sparing his or her words. This is possible in almost every situation because we rarely have all the facts even though we may think or feel we do. Resisting attempts to appear intelligent can help us avoid being dumb.
In the old Dragnet TV Show, Sergeant Joe Friday would sometimes say, “Just the facts ma’am. Just the facts!” when dealing with a witness that was talking too much. This serves to illustrate how we as humans can practice over-speaking to the point that the important issues at hand get clouded.
Things like this happen when we talk so much about our problems that we forget and/or fail to listen to God and others for the encouragement of His eternal truth.
PROVERBS 10:19 reads, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
PROVERBS 15:2 reveals, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.”
ECCLESIASTES 5:3b says, “..a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”
ECCLESIASTES 10:14a states, “A fool also is full of words:…”
This is a Biblical issue, not only based on multiple passages of Scripture, but also reflected in the practices of Christ, Who knew when to be silent and when to speak.
He spoke truth and wisdom when it was unpopular for Him to do so and yet He remained silent when falsely accused, beaten and tortured.
We need Your help in applying Your principles today and everyday. With two ears and one mouth, we need to work on listening more than talking, so that when we do talk we are more effective for You.
Forgive us for the times we have made things worse by speaking.
Help us to remember, we will always be quoted and often misquoted when we do speak.
Help us be bold, kind and accurate when it is time to talk and wise when otherwise.