Big Hill Christian Church

1150 Goggins Lane, Richmond, KY

Big Hill Bible Studies
4 July 2018 Study
 
Proverbs 17
 
This chapter contains the proverb that I have held to hundreds of times in my life (and don't think that to be an exaggeration).  If you will look at the last verse in the chapter you will read, "Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent."  Some supporting scriptures to consider along these lines include James 1:19 - "This you know, my beloved brethren.  But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger."  Also consider Romans 12:18 - "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."
 
In light of these verses, and some of the previous verses we have discussed,  I believe the lesson to apply to life is to listen more than we speak and consider what you are going to say before you do speak.  There are many times I have instructed my kids to just "sit there and smile" when they are being attacked or involved in conversations that are turning into arguments.  I guess I passed that along because I was taught that early.  I have always believed it takes more discipline to keep a closed mouth or even to walk away than it does to shoot off your mouth and hurt someone because you are too self involved to listen to an opinion other than your own.
 
A quote attributed to Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln says, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."  This is believed to have been taken from Proverbs - our verse today.  Take a moment or two to consider what we can learn from this.  Why is it better to remain silent?  Have you said something that you later realized was ridiculous or foolish?  What if you had remained silent? 
 
Try something this week.  Don't talk until you know what you are going to say.  Do not say anything that is not positive or uplifting.  And finally don't say anything that is self promoting.  When the impulse is to actually be impulsive, stop.  If you have nothing to say - say nothing.  You may realize you are not talking a lot and that may surprise you.  But it may also show you how many times you have not thought before you have spoken.  You may see that not all your conversations are encouraging, positive, or loving.  You may even see that sometimes your speech is foolish.  So, the verse today will help us to see that "even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise."    
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
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