On the go? Press play!
The words of wise men heard in quiet are better than the shouts of him who rules among fools. Ecclesiastes 9:17 AMPC
The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious and win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. Ecclesiastes 10:12 AMPC
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 AMPC
Everyone wants to be heard. To feel as though their point of view is valid. And though that is a very natural feeling, it seems that it isn’t the way to wisdom. Many times throughout scripture, the Bible speaks of the wise being humble, gracious and slow to speak. Contrast that with the description of fools in the Bible and we get a much better understanding of the old phrase: ‘Empty barrels make the most noise’.
The wise tend more toward quietness. They are more willing to listen. Wisdom seeks to understand not just to be understood. To really hear another’s heart rather than only to be heard. So there is an element of humility that is embodied in wisdom that is absent in fools. The foolish seek only to be understood. The foolish seek to be heard before listening. A fool is often the loudest person in the room. They lack self-control and restraint. Are usually quick to respond without having all the details. There is an element of pride and selfishness in being foolish. This is why the Bible says the lips of a fool consume him. His own mouth leads to his demise. He does not think before speaking. Does not consider the effect of his words. The fool is wrapped up in his own world, where only his opinion counts. That leaves no room for any one else’s words to bear weight. Certainly not God’s Word.
Wisdom begins with the fear of God. By recognizing God as the only truly Wise One. Wisdom defers to God in all things, and therefore is slower to speak. Wisdom listens for the voice of God to guide and direct. So the wise walk in the Spirit, seek to be led by the Spirit. While the fool charts his own course. Is led by his flesh, which ends in destruction of his own doing. Wisdom acknowledges God’s Word as the final authority, and so does not go about shouting and seeking to be heard. The wise quiet their hearts in order to hear the voice of God. The wise seek to honor and worship God with their lives rather than using their words to draw attention to themselves.
May we all honor God with our lives. May we practice the discipline of deference to God. To honor the Only Great One, rather than to have the eyes of men on us. May we be slower to speak and quicker to listen. Seeking to understand others rather than to be understood. To exercise humility instead of blindly existing in vain unfounded pride. May we all seek the way of wisdom. And in so doing, find favor with God and man.
Love & Blessings,