The Wisdom of Silence

I was just reading Proverbs 10 this morning. I think it’s a good idea to read Proverbs periodically; as I mature and go through different experiences, the same words say different things to me. This time, as I read Proverbs 10, I got a very clear message: 

Talk less. Listen more.

I’m terrible at listening. I interrupt constantly, I don’t wait to hear what other people have to say, and I tend to think my ideas have the most merit. 

This isn’t the way to wisdom.

In Proverbs, Wisdom is depicted as a woman standing on the street, calling for us to pay attention. I can imagine us in our cars speeding by, intent on our own lives and thoughts, uninterested in this external voice – especially since this voice tells us to seek moderation, patience, selflessness, discipline, and service. She calls us to seek and fight for the objective truth; to run from self-indulgence; and to listen to the wisdom of history.

Not exactly popular sentiments these days.

Also not something I’m likely to come to on my own, while listening to my own voice. That’s what stood out to me, this time around: I, as much as any prevaricating president, prefer my own reality to God’s. The path of Wisdom turns from such murky ways and instead follows the clear way of God’s Word. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light,” and I do believe Proverbs points us in that direction.

Anyway, philosophy aside, I felt convicted to talk less and listen more. You can hold me to it.