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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Silence speaks the loudest

Do not answer (nor pretend to agree with the frivolous comments of) a (closed-minded) fool according to his folly, otherwise you, even you, will be like him.  Answer (and correct the erroneous concepts of) a fool according to his folly, otherwise he will be wise in his own eyes (if he thinks you agree with him). (Proverbs 26:4-5 AMP)

This passage seemed a little contradictory this morning. The first part of the passage tells us NOT to answer a fool, while the second part tells us we DO answer a fool. Confusing, huh? So, how is it we are to respond to foolish people, with their foolish plans and supposed "wisdom of the ages" as they put it? There are indeed times when we probably just need to keep silent, for our silence is enough to counteract their foolishness! 

There are other times when it is both wise and necessary to answer their foolishness - so that others aren't manipulated by their foolish plans or pulled into senseless beliefs themselves. Learning how to do this is kind of like an art - it takes wisdom and some practice - for I am here to report I have tried on occasion to do so without much success! I got pulled into argument rather than just helping to shed a little wisdom into the situation - just because it was so doggone easy to fall into the trap of argument when all I needed to do was state truth and stand firm!

As our writer states, some will try to pretend to agree with the fool who has a very closed mind, just because they think it is easier - avoiding confrontation and calamity. It is indeed easier, but in the end you find the foolishness just gets magnified because the fool now thinks he has others following his train of thought and purpose! It is equally unwise to allow the fool to continue with his folly without giving as much light and truth into the matter as is possible - for whatever is not corrected by truth becomes a new standard by which one makes decisions and takes future actions.

While it may not be easy to correct a fool, for they seem to be set in their ways, it is necessary to continually bring truth into a matter whenever practical. As I have already stated, there are times when silence (not saying anything at all to counter their foolish words or actions) is just as good as stating truth. For example, when the fool is attempting to incite argument and/or divide a group of people, is it wise to jump right into it with the fool? Probably not, for the fool is rarely dissuaded from his mission to create havoc and stir up dissension in the ranks. 

We don't like the tactic of silence on occasion, but honestly it may speak the "loudest" message to the fool who is just not being dissuaded from their evil intent and foolish message. Just sayin (or maybe not sayin)!