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Saturday, June 22, 2024
Bible Meditation: 
Proverbs 29: 8-20

“Do you see a man HASTY in his WORDS? There is more hope for a fool than for him” Proverbs 29:20

The consequences of not KNOWING WHEN to be SILENT can be awful: “Do you see a man HASTY in his WORDS? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Pro.29:20). Scriptures repeatedly caution against hastiness in speaking: “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart UTTER ANYTHING HASTILY before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore LET YOUR WORDS BE FEW” (Ecc.5:2). In contrast, the Wisdom of balancing Silence and Speaking, is invaluable: “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Pro.21:23); “He who has knowledge SPARES HIS WORDS, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he SHUTS HIS LIPS, he is considered perceptive.” (Pro.17:27-28).

We have a choice: To be hasty in words and reap the troubles of foolishness; or to have a calm spirit, guard our mouth and tongue, shut our lips, spare our words, be counted as wise, and keep our soul from troubles. There is “a TIME to KEEP SILENCE, and a TIME to SPEAK” (Ecc.3:7). We can speak out when expedient, but also to walk in the wisdom of verbal restraint and Silence: “he who restrains his lips is wise” (Pro.10:19b); “He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace” (Pro.11:12).

The tongue can be a treacherous tool with lethal impacts, a troublesome organ or an instrument of peace. By the tongue, “Scoffers set a city aflame, but wise men turn away wrath” (v.8); “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back” (v.11). Proverbs 17:20 reveals the negative effects of unruled heart and tongue: “He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, and he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.” Rather than be hasty and constantly fall into trouble, we can spare our words, hold our peace, and learn to listen more than to blab.

Learning to be quiet can be tough, but highly rewarding. We should rather pray with someone who is seeking wisdom from God, than hastily offer foolish, carnal counsel. Rather than say what we may later regret, we wait on the Holy Spirit to speak into the situation. Often, we need energizing silence to replace our exhausting striving. The flesh may want to engage in emotional outbursts, but the spirit says, “Wait”! So, we pause for the Holy Spirit to calm our conflicted heart before confronting issues. People may agitate us, but by God’s Grace, we can refrain from reacting rudely. Our silence releases God’s Strength: “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exo.14:14, NASB). Our strength is in being quiet and calm: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength…” (Isa.30:15a).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, train us to not be hasty in words, but walk in Wisdom, KNOWING WHEN to be SILENT and calmly tap into Divine Strength, in Jesus’ name.
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