S215P9 – Warnings against foolishness: thoughtful transparency

Pro. 29:11

A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.

There is an honesty which masquerades as helpful or even necessary when it is neither.  Our current culture tells people to do things like be true to yourself and speak your truth.  If we survey the day’s news offerings, one thing will be glaringly obvious.  While facts are still reported, that is not all that is reported.  It seems as though the information we are given daily is increasingly opinion and feeling.  This trend might account for how much offense exists today.  Everyone has an opinion and feels a certain way about everything, and everyone thinks everyone else needs to hear about it.  What this produces is not an arena of honesty but a venue for each to hold his feelings and opinions above the rest.

This verse speaks about discretion.  If you ever have been asked a question you did not want to answer because honesty would hurt someone, you know what I mean.  There are things that I feel that no one will benefit from knowing.  There are opinions I have that are best kept to myself.  The one who wishes she could read everyone’s mind to know exactly what they think of her is asking for injury.  Opinions and feelings can be very fleeting, and they can be quite erroneous or misplaced.  We can confuse shyness for arrogance or insecurity for pride.  Our own hurt feelings can impact what we feel and think.  We must understand that there should be a good purpose behind sharing our feelings. 

To be thoughtful with our words is to think before speaking.  That is why the fool just empties his feelings on whomever is willing to listen.  He does not understand or want to understand that emotions should be considered before shared.  He can be honest without divulging everything inside his head and heart because that might not be good.  Some things we think and feel simply serve no good purpose when spoken.  To practice this is the difference between having the self-control of a wise man and being as wild as a fool.  Father, teach us to walk in good discretion with our words, controlling not only how we feel but how and if we discuss those feelings.