v2: "A fool find no pleasure in understanding / but delights in airing his own opinion."
I like telling people what I think. I often think I have things to say which contribute to "understanding." But I've begun to wonder. Perhaps it's better to just shut up. I think about this most in terms of the "Adult Bible Class" that I'm in at church. I sit in a room of 20 or so people, of which I am most-likely the youngest. And yet I am one of the most vocal. There is so much wisdom in that room. Several of the men have been to seminary.
In thinking about this, I have on occasion tried to limit my speaking either to bringing up a scripture related to the current subject, or to asking a question. But this has been very difficult for me, especially when we start talking about subjects that I care about or think I know something about.
Last week we spent a lot of time talking about the racial divide of the American church. We also talked about the way the liberal church started to lose touch with doctrine back in the '30s, '40s, '50s, and elevated the importance of social services. The fundamental churches' response was to cling to truth and flee social services. Both are wrong, and that's another post in and of itself. Occasionally we come back to the topic of postmodernity. And I can't shut up when people are talking about these things.
And there certainly must be some moderation. There are so many wise people, but most of them are moderns, and I'm able to speak from a more postmodern perspective, which I think is valuable to the pursuit of understanding. But there are always more people that want to talk than we have time for, so I think that I should just shut up and soak in the wisdom of others. But is that selfish?
Ultimately, the decision to speak or not speak should be made with the Spirit's prompting. I need to make a habit of asking Him. After all, v13 says, "He who answers before listening-- / that is his folly and his shame."
v10-11: "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; / the righteous run into it and are safe. / The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; / they imagine it an unscalable wall."
What is your source of security?
v14 (because everyone's been getting sick recently): "A man's spirit sustains him in sickness, / but a crushed spirit who can bear?"
So if you know someone who is sick, do your best to encourage their spirit. Smile.
And finally, post-Valentines encouragement for the romantically inclined. v22: "He who finds a wife finds what is good, / and recieves favor from the LORD."