“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
If we string verses 17:28 and 18:2 together with a but we get “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues, but a fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Who are we, this body of Christ, the Church? Where are we supposed to stand when it comes to opening our mouth? The world would like us to sit down and shut up, thinks we isolate, and holds us in contempt.
Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if it kept its mouth shut. It’s true. But it’d starve too.
Let’s look at this critically and with open eyes. “Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” The world and Christianity disagree. Yet who’s isolating? The world is through its relentless pursuit to remove and silence Christian thought, teaching and presence. It says so much about the truth that Islam, Buddhism, etc. aren’t silenced, only Christ. The world hates the truth and that’s why it focuses on eliminating Christ. Christ calls us to be the light in the world. Yes, to be in the world. So, whose isolating?
It’s obvious, by the shape of the world, that decisions are being made and that the world is being run on a lack of sound judgement. Duh, Solomon wrote about it a few thousand years ago, wisdom from God, trying to get us to pull our heads out of our butts; we refuse, achieve predictable results.
“Proverbs 18:3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace.” I’d say we’re here. Maybe we’ve never left, maybe that’s our condition until we see God return. We are wicked. In the West, we decry the wickedness, most assuredly because of our Christian heritage, but the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. Do we not see contempt for our fellow humans growing? Human trafficking today makes American slavery look like a petty crime. That’s the scope were dealing with here – something that was so horrific pales in comparison to what’s happening today. (Just a side note here to highlight what I wrote above – why do we focus on the historical evil of the American slave trade and remain silent on today’s evil? Most likely because the American slave trade was promulgated by people claiming to be Christians, while today’s trade is predominantly secular. The Church is the most active and outspoken opponent to today’s slave trade.) That’s just the tip of the iceberg. How can the world allow ¼ of its population to live in abject poverty? It’s contemptible and disgraceful, like the verse says.
So, where is the church? Keeping it’s mouth shut, remaining silent, seeking to appear wise? And slowly starving to death while the shrill cry of secular insanity drowns out reasonable thought.
No, the answer isn’t in shouting louder that the world, it’s being more grounded in what Christ calls us to, in staying close to the words of God, and in being active participants in the world. It’s about being true to the teachings, undiluted by our history of putting our stamp on it and getting it wrong.
We’re not foolish for following Christ, then world is for not. We don’t pursue selfish ends, Christ calls us to be selfless. We strive for understanding – who understood us better than Christ? We hold no one in contempt, only love equally, just as Christ loved us.
12 “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
It’s time to engage and be the light. It’s long, long overdue.