A man of knowledge uses words with restraint. Proverbs 17:27

Our mid-week message takes us back to the Book of Proverbs.  We are in Chapter 17, and as is so often the case,  this chapter urges caution in what we say, and in how we say it.

The Word says, “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered.”  Proverbs 17: 27.
As we mature and learn about life, if we are listening and paying attention to what works in relationships, families, leading others, or following others;  we acquire knowledge of how to encourage, and strengthen, and comfort people in our lives and what really is the Way.
We learn to hold our temper, and listen to the Holy Spirit.  We learn to pay attention.
  The key points here are ‘listening’, and ‘paying attention’.  If we learn to do that – if we become a man or woman of knowledge of life – others want to be around us.  Our home life is good, strong, and beautiful. Our work is blessed and prosperous.  Others will want to be with us because they know that we care.  It is respect given, and it will be returned.
Using words with restraint means listening more than talking.  Hard to do sometimes especially if we think we have to get our point in because others need to hear it.  When we think we have the right answer, we often do not even hear what others talking may be saying, because we are just waiting for the break to say what everybody else needs to hear.  Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his/her own opinions.”  Proverbs 18:7 says, “A fool’s mouth is his/her undoing, and his /her lips are a snare to his/her soul.”  Everybody has heard the expression, “God gave us two ears, and one mouth.  Guess He expects us to listen twice as much as we speak.”  Amen to that.
When I was a younger man, and mostly interested in me more than anything or anyone else, I had a terrible habit of always looking around if someone else was speaking.  Proverbs 17:24 says, “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.”  I had wandering eyes.  I was foolish.  I did not realize that the one sitting before me had something wise and of value to say if I would but listen. and pay attention.
Someone said, “Seek first to listen, and understand the other person before we speak.”  We obtain knowledge of how to speak to that person and to the situation when we do.
 I praise the Lord for delivering me from the foolish egotistical person I was. Not that I am perfect in the flesh, but it is very important to me now to listen, and learn from others.  If The Holy Spirit gives me something of value to say after I have listened, then I will speak as He opens the door.
This change in me came slowly and directly from the Lord since I was too egotistical to listen to others. Mercy.   As I began to begin my day with “Lord, I love you with all of my heart, all my soul, and all my strength – help me to love my neighbor as myself,” He impressed upon me how very important we are, and how very important those in our lives are.  They are to be loved and respected just as we desire to be.   They are to be listened to, and spoken to in the love that we enjoy receiving from the Lord, and from those in our lives.
When we will speak prayerfully, and carefully instead of just throwing words out carelessly – when we use ‘restraint of self’ and let the Lord speak through us, wisdom shall come forth from our mouth.  Our words will lift up, strengthen, encourage, and comfort.
We are all one.  None any better than any other. We all need love and truth.  Let us grow in knowledge of how to give these things by listening and paying attention to the Lord, and to others.
Blessings and love to you, and yours, God’s Beloveds.
Poppa B.
Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, On Line


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