‘The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.’ Proverbs 18:4 NKJV
When Solomon speaks of ‘deep waters’, he’s referring to the water at the bottom of the well that’s the cleanest and coolest. If you want to know what kind of water a well has, go down to the bottom. And if you want to know what’s in a person’s heart, listen to his or her words.
An old country farmer put it this way: ‘What’s down in the well always comes up in the bucket!’ One of the surest signs of wisdom and maturity is the ability to say the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, to the right person—or to say nothing at all. Indeed, as you become wiser, you’ll talk less and say more. In Australia, when someone is arrested, the police are required to read an official caution before questioning them, informing them of their right to remain silent: ‘You do not have to say anything… Anything you do say may be given in evidence.’ So unless your words are intended to build someone up rather than tear them down, silence is a ‘right’ you should exercise every day. Sometimes the wisest option is not to give voice to your thoughts.
It’s said, ‘A wise man is someone who thinks twice before saying nothing.’ Again, Solomon weighs in: ‘The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent.’ (Proverbs 17:27–28 NIV)
So, it’s better to keep your mouth shut when the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so. Silence can be misunderstood but it can never be misquoted.
SoulFood: Ezra 6–8, John 7:45–53, Ps 9, Pro 24:30–34
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023