December 02, 2020 · Bob Gass
“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.” Proverbs 18:4 NKJV
When Solomon spoke of “deep waters,” he was referring to the water at the bottom of a well that’s the cleanest and coolest. If you want to know what kind of water a well has, go down to the bottom. And if you want to know what’s in a person’s heart, listen to his or her words. An old country farmer put it this way: “What’s down in the well always comes up in the bucket!” One of the surest signs of wisdom and maturity is the ability to say the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, to the right person—or to say nothing at all. Indeed, as you become wiser, you’ll talk less and say more. In the US legal system, when someone is arrested, the police are required to read them their Miranda Rights: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” So unless your words are intended to build someone up rather than tear them down, silence is a “right” you should exercise every day. Sometimes the wisest words are the ones never spoken. Someone said, “A wise man is someone who thinks twice before saying nothing.” Again, from Solomon: “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” (Proverbs 17:27-28 NIV). So, it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.