The Wise Old Owl – Sunday Thought For The Day
The following was written for September 28, 2014, “Our Daily Bread” by Jennifer Benson Shuldt.
Years ago an anonymous writer penned a short poem about the merits of measuring our words.
A wise old owl sat in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?
There is a connection between wisdom and limiting what we say. Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
We are wise to be careful about what we say or how much we say in certain situations. It makes sense to guard our words when we are angry. James urged his fellow believers, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). Restraining our words can also show reverence for God. Solomon said, “God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:2). When others are grieving, our silent presence may help more than abundant expressions of sympathy: “No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (Job 2:13).
Although there is a time to be quiet and a time to speak (Eccl. 3:7), choosing to speak less allows us to hear more.
Dear Lord, please grant me wisdom to
know when to speak and when to listen.
I want to encourage others and to care
for them as You have cared for me.
Let your speech be better than silence; otherwise be silent.
Today’s reading focuses on how we use the words we speak. In verse 17, the emphasis is on the instruction and correction we receive; lying lips and slanderous words are the focus of verse 18. The point of verse 19 is that words can be so dangerous that we’re wiser to not speak than to speak too much, while verse 20 contrasts the speech of those with a right heart (which is like silver) against those whose heart is far from God (worthless). Finally, verse 21 describes how proper speech can be like food to the soul. In all of these sayings, we are challenged to carefully consider how we speak.
17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.[adsanity id=11817 align=alignnone /]
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here