“The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice. A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him. If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good, surely to flog honest officials is not right. 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, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Proverbs 17:23-28
There are talkers and there are listeners. In school, there are the students who always had their hand up to answer a question. There are also those who may have known an answer, but really didn’t want to talk. There are the kids at lunch who are chatting away, and there are those who sit very quietly. There are the students who nearly burst when told to sit and not talk. There are those who relish the quiet. God has made talkers and listeners. And that is perfectly fine.
However, there is also the rare person who talks non-stop. They don’t breathe; they talk. They don’t listen to others; they talk. They don’t always even know what they are saying, because they don’t listen to themselves; they talk. They may even talk in their sleep.
How can you tell the wise from the fool? Restraint. “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint.” The wise and the discerning know how to hold their tongues.
Father, help me to talk when I should, but also to listen and show restraint.