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In The Bible Today; Proverbs 17
Understanding The Bible
The Bible is a timeless text of perennial wisdom. It tells us not only of God and mankind, but it also guides us on our path as spiritual beings in human bodies.
Though the Bible sometimes seems inapproachable and complex, these studies are designed to make the Bible accessible to everyone and applicable to everyday life.
This study uses the SOAP technique: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. As you read through and study the bible, and a verse sticks out to you, write it down. Then write down your personal observations regarding the scripture, along with historical notations and any other pertinent information. After you make a thorough observation of the scripture, meditate on how you might apply the lesson learned to your own life. How can you use this particular verse to improve your life or make your spiritual journey better? Finally, write out a prayer to God, as you think about the scripture.
This technique will help you find more meaning from your study of scripture, and will help deepen your walk along a spiritual path.
Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." King James Version
Proverbs 17:28: "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." New International Version
Proverbs 17:28: "Even a (callous, arrogant) fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise. When he closes his lips he is regarded as sensible (prudent, discreet), and a man of understanding."
Observation: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt." Mark Twain. True when written in the bible, true when spoken by Mark Twain, and true today. It is usually better to just be quiet.
When I was in sales, we had weekly meetings. One memorable salesman, Charlie, was always a verbose member of the team, pontificating about every account, gossiping about clients and arguing with the sales manager about every point. Joe, who had been with the company for twenty years, rarely spoke. When he did speak, his tone was firm but not loud, his points were brief and well spoken. He wasn't the most educated man on the team, but he always seemed wise. Neither was Charlie the stupidest person in our office, but his loud demeanor and verbosity made him seem foolish. These two men, without setting a conscious intention, demonstrated the truth of this proverb. A quiet, thoughtful man is considered wiser than a loud, brazen person.
So it is in our daily lives. Our ego wants us to speak up, to let others know how smart, informed and up to date we are. We want everyone to know that we think we are the smartest person in the room. Whether it is true or not, often times, we speak up when we should be quiet, because we want the accolades and acknowledgement of those around us.
We must pause and consider what makes us want to stand up and stand out, rather than sit back and observe the process unfolding. Why are we uncomfortable with silence? Why do we formulate our answers and responses while others are still speaking? Why are we so insecure?
Being comfortable with yourself means you are not dependent on the opinions of others. If you are confident in who you are, it no longer becomes necessary to speak up at every opportunity. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is let others speak, especially when they are wrong, misinformed or if we just plain disagree with them. Even if they are right, and we agree, it is not necessary to chime in at every opportunity.
Application: In my life, I often (read always) speak too much. I am well educated, and want people to know I am not just another pretty face! Actually, I just talk too much. It usually has the opposite effect - rather than sounding wise, informed and intelligent, I come across as a blabber mouth.
I am learning to be comfortable with who I am. Part of that is for me to actively practice being quiet and listening to what others say. It is usually quite difficult. Often, my mind races as I think about what I could be saying, if only they would be quiet for a second.
Slowly I am learning to quiet my mind, to listen. Just listen, with no agenda, no intention of answering, correcting, or informing. It's a huge growth step, and has not been easy. Practicing perfection is possible, so just for today, actually, just for this moment, I will be quiet and listen.
Prayer: Lord, you know my heart. Help me listen, without the need to jump in. Give me the patience to be quiet, and help me love myself even when I talk too much.