Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

We Don’t Always Have To

PROVERBS 18:2 – A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.


THEME OF THE DAY:  WE DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO.  The list is long and I will let you make your own based on one word “opinions.”  Get into a conversation and bring up topics like the current state of politics, elections, COVID, and climate control, and out they come – opinions.  Everyone has them.  A lot of people share them and here is where we enter the theme of today’s nugget.


In the wisdom book of Proverbs, King Solomon is offering wise advice to his son on how to live godly in an ungodly world.  As he does, he is direct, like “in your face direct.”  Let me offer two illustrations.


First, the direct “in your face” instruction about laziness.  The wisest man ever to live calls those who are prone to being idle and procrastinators something that is not very flattering but gets the message across loud and clear – Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man (Proverbs 6:6-11).


Another direct area of instruction, if we are prone to talk a lot, is the quantity of our speech. King Solomon gets “in our face” again –  When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent (Proverbs 10:19).  He says, “Go ahead and talk a lot, and be ready for a season of confessing and repenting for a loose tongue leads to much sin.


Well, there is still one more word of directness from King Solomon.  It comes from today’s scripture. Listen to the King – “You are a fool if you just have to voice an opinion about anything or anyone while you lack understanding, or you don’t know what you are talking about.”  OUCH!


Friends, we don’t always have to give an opinion about something just because we can.  The wise and mature Christian has learned restraint; another lesson taught by the king – Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding (Proverbs 17:27).


Instead of just jumping in with an opinion on a topic of discussion, sit back, go slow, listen, and ask the Lord to help us know what to speak, when to speak and how to speak.  In doing so, we won’t be quick to give an opinion and find ourselves with another not flattering title – fool.


PRAYER: “Father, help me to live with a wise tongue, knowing when to restrain my words.”


QUOTE: “Be very careful in conversations which may quickly get emotional.  Sinful words may abound.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim