Friday, January 27, 2012

Speak Carefully

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him." -Proverbs 26:4

In keeping with posts of late, today also has to do with proper, ethical speech. Solomon encourages us not to answer a fool according to his foolishness. All I can think of at the moment is how our culture presses us in the exact opposite way. Society would have us believe that if we do not answer an argument in a quick, witty way we are foolish and unwise. This could not be further from the truth.

When presented with an argument or a foolish matter, Solomon tells us that it is best not to answer. Now, some matters require a response, but keep in mind that your response does not need to be immediate, and it certainly does not have to be according to the foolishness of the fool. Choose your words carefully and speak on your own terms, not on his.

We are also told here what will happen if you do not pay attention to this proverb. You will become like the fool. By answering quickly, rashly, and abruptly you will have become a fool yourself. I can't think of better encouragement to heed this proverb. In essence, Solomon says if you want to be considered wise, do not answer a fool according to his folly.

Think about it for a moment. Are you becoming like the fools that you answer? Are you being pulled into the trap of foolish words? Be careful how you speak. Do not become a fool by answering him, even when you just want to keep him quiet. Let the Holy Spirit guide your tongue and only speak (1) the truth, (2) appropriately, and (3) carefully.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what to say. I am afraid of answering too quickly:) Nice reflexion.