We’ve all done it; we’ve all been there. Barely 2 seconds after saying something we wish we could take it back. Maybe it was something said in anger to a spouse or child, maybe it was a bit of juicy gossip you let slip from your mouth. Either way, you said it and it was gone. Yikes! The idea of keeping our mouth shut is something our parents tried to teach us when we were 4, yet many of us still struggle with it at times, sometimes many decades later.
While many passages may come to mind when we consider the idea of “keeping our mouth shut,” our reading today in Proverbs 17 says it about as clear as can be. We read in verses 27, 28, “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”
While some might be quick to assume there is might be some level of wisdom or even spirituality in being a quiet introvert, I’d rather think this passage has nothing to do with the amount that someone’s speaks but instead about the ability to shut one’s mouth at the right time. Granted, the less someone talks would reasonably equate to a lesser chance of something inappropriate being said; however, I’m sure we could all agree that it is very possible to have the “gift of gab” yet be able to have the self control to NOT say something as opposed to someone who is quieter, but lacks that self-control, might go ahead a spurt something out. The difference between the 2 individuals is the essence of what Proverbs is all about. A wise man, a man of understanding and knowledge knows when just when to keep their mouth shut. The inability to do so says much more about a man’s lack of wisdom than it does about his personality. And the amount of wisdom and understanding we have is very much in direct relationship to the amount of time we spend in His Word as well as the vitality of our walk with Him. In honor of the opening week of trout season, “Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut.”