“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

Proverbs 17:28

While something like this verse is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain, it was Solomon who first put ink to parchment to record it. A good many of the verses in Proverbs address what we say and how we say it. This one shows us that refraining from speaking may be at times better than speaking out. In other words, the wise know that they don’t know everything. There are limits to their knowledge. In fact, the more the wise learn, the more they realize all they don’t know!

That is why it is important to remain silent, to listen, to observe, to consider carefully your words before you say them. Of course, trying to simply conceal foolishness by remaining silent isn’t the point. Solomon wants his children to aim to not be the first or loudest speaker in the room, to be content being thought of as wise “rather than speaking up and removing all doubt!”

Clearly, there is a time to voice things. But as we grow in God’s wisdom, may we be those who weigh our words carefully before allowing them through our lips.

Scripture Focus

Proverbs 21:29


Can you think of a time where you spoke up and regretted it? How would you approach that situation differently now?

Bible In A Year

  • Jeremiah 19-20
  • Psalm 113
  • 1 Corinthians 1-2