Restrained Words

‘The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.’ – Proverbs 17.27

From Sam Lomas:

It seems logical to assume that the more knowledge you gain and the smarter you become, the more you would have to say and so the more you would speak.  But based on Proverbs 17.27, the opposite is true.  Once again, the Bible cuts to the heart of a topic and helps us understand more clearly what true wisdom looks like.

The author of this nugget of wisdom explains that as a truly wise person gains more knowledge, their tongue becomes increasingly restrained and their temper is even.  In other words, they do not speak too much or waffle on.  And they do not lash out in fits of rage or bursts of hysteria.

This is rather helpfully demonstrated in films.  Characters like Professor Dumbledore from Harry Potter and Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings are both seen as wise, yet by comparison to other characters, they have very few lines.  Often the opposite is true for characters that film makers want to appear unwise.  Those characters tend to talk themselves into a trap.  Most Bond Villains, for example, give away their plans far too quickly. 

The point is, while it may feel only natural to speak more when our knowledge increases; Scripture helps us understand that if we want to be truly wise then we will learn to restrain our tongue.  Speaking less, is often the way to saying more.  By saying less, the words you do say will have a far greater impact.

I think we see this in Jesus on several occasions but allow me to draw your attention to one occasion in particular, His death on the cross.  It was normal to expect people undergoing crucifixion to shout out in agony, swear or protest their execution.  But Jesus does none of those things.  Instead, He spends most of His crucifixion silent.  And when He does speak, He says just seven very precise short sentences.  Each statement from Jesus spoken on the cross was measured and full of meaning. 

Allow this blog to be a gentle challenge to your tongue.  Let us each ask the Holy Spirit to carry out His transformative work within us. Particularly upon our tongues, so that they may be speak words of wisdom.  Not too long ago we did a five-part sermon series on the tongue, perhaps you need to re-watch those on YouTube. 

Published by St Patrick's Church

We are a friendly Anglican church in the centre of the community of South Wallington. At the heart of our church is the wonderful news that God loves us and has demonstrated that love in the most incredible way through Jesus' life, death and victory over death. Thank you for engaging with our blog, we hope and pray it is a blessing to you.

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