About the most satisfactory substitute for wisdom is silence.
Discretion of speech is better than fluency of speech.
1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
11 An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
19 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
20 He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
21 He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
23 A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
24 Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
26 Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Proverbs 17:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 17:2-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 17:6-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 17:16-28 – J. Vernon McGee
UNDER THE CLOAK OF THE LAW.
Concerning the work of the saloon there is but one verdict which can be rendered by intelligence and patriotism. Ten thousand times ten thousand times it has been brought before the bar of Justice and there charged and proved with being responsible for the vast majority of poverty, crime and disease which infest the race. Nevertheless, so deeply is this blighting curse intrenched in our laws and government that our courts are compelled, even if unwilling, to protect a traffic which by common agreement is a universal bane. Knowing this, the saloonist seeks refuge under the cloak of the law, and there insolently defies us to assail him.
Proverbs 17:27—He that hath knowledge spareth his words.
It is a wise thing to say as little as possible to man, and as much as possible to God. The ultimate test of friendship has always seemed to me to be in the ability of true friends to be silent in each other’s presence. In silence we best may open the heart to receive the infillings of the Divine Spirit. When people are always talking to one another, even though they talk about God, they are liable to lose the first fresh sense of God’s presence.
Ordinary conversation greatly weakens character. It is like the perpetual running of a tap which inevitably empties the cistern. It seems to me disastrous when the whole of a summer holiday is spent in contact with friends, however dear, who leave no time for the communing of the soul with itself, nature, and God. We cannot be perpetually in society, speaking to the nearest and dearest, without saying things which will afterwards cause us regret. We shall have spoken too much of ourselves, or too little of Christ, or too much about others; or we shall have allowed the things of the world and sense to bulk too largely. Besides, it is only in silence and thought that our deepest life matures, or the impressions of eternity are realized. If we are always talking, we give no opportunity for the ripening of the soul. Nothing makes the soul more fruitful than to leave it fallow. Who would pick a crop of fruit when first it began to appear on the trees? Live deep. Speak as little as you may. Be slow to speak, and swift to hear.
“Not seldom ceases outward speech awhile,
That the inner, isled in calm, may clearer sound. —Our Daily Homily