Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Proverbs 17:27-28)
The Wisdom Of Silence
Thomas Carlyle calls it the “great empire of silence.” The busy commerce of man’s wisdom is fortified by a confidence that great words and senseless noise suggests a greater level of intelligence. Man enjoys the sound of his own knowledge and the more words that are expounded the greater his individual worth becomes. A braggart spirit of self-importance exalts him above others. Verbal bullies push their wills on others with no regard for anyone but themselves. Silence is not only golden but it shines brighter as a sign of maturity than the one who cannot spare his words. Given in contrast is the one who speaks for others to hear and the person who hears so that he may speak.
Listening has always been a challenge. The eyes, ears and mouth are the portals of the mind. What the eyes see the mind must react immediately. Placed on each side of the brain the ears are the conduit of the world. The third companion is where the danger lies. James describes the tongue as an unruly evil that no man can tame. He does not suggest it cannot be controlled. Wisdom comes from the one who clearly defines what he sees and what he hears with a reserved spirit of understanding by being slow to speak. The mind of a wise man knows that what he sees and what he hears requires the use of sparing words and a calm spirit. Thinking must be first before speaking.
Knowledge is found in the hearts of those who speak fewer words. The wise man shows that even a fool is considered wise when he is careful with his words. When God created man he placed within the mouth 32 teeth. Not only are these two sets of teeth used for crushing food for digestion the Lord wants us to use these teeth to bite our tongues when it gets unruly. Some folk need about 100 teeth and for some possibly more. Regardless there is a great need to learn how to speak fewer words. Thinking demands a slow approach to being vocal. So often the mouth speaks ahead of the brain and that usually creates a train wreck.
Wisdom is found in the mind that is filled with knowledge and greater wisdom is found when the tongue speaks less. There is none of us that cannot use this lesson. So often if we would only listen more than we speak how much more happiness there would be. Our marriages would be as God intended when we learn to listen. Parenting skills will be greater from a calm spirit. Disagreements among brethren will be solved with love because of a hearing heart. Learning the truths of God’s word will increase when we listen more to our Lord. Sparing our words and receiving His words will give us a deeper love for what God has done for us. A calm spirit will come from listening to the word of God. Perception will increase when we listen.
Looking round at the noisy inanity of the world, words with little meaning, actions with little worth, one loves to reflect on the great empire of silence. (Thomas Carlyle)