It’s not about what you have, it’s about how you act. Your actions are the telling signs of whether or not you have wisdom. Read Proverbs 17.
Actions of the Wise – Proverbs 17:1-9
Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife. A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, And will share in the inheritance among brothers. The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts. An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers. Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince. A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers. He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.
Proverbs 17:1-9 NASB
Our actions tell a lot about us. They are the display to the world of the thoughts that are going on inside. Our actions make it very, very clear to everyone else whether or not we are acting through wisdom or acting through foolishness. The way we speak to people, the way we treat people, and the way we interact with people all display our wisdom or our foolishness.Which of these verses above best describe us? In what way can we act with more wisdom today?
Actions Toward the Foolish – Proverbs 17:10-17
A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool. A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him. Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord . Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:10-17 NASB
People who are wise react differently then people who are foolish. As the verse says, if you try to correct someone who is wise, they take it and learn from it and do better the next time. When you try to correct someone who is a fool, they disagree with you because they don’t see that they’ve done anything wrong. Do we accept information and critique from others? Are we open to feedback? If not, that says more about us than it does about the person trying to give us the feedback.
Actions of the Foolish – Proverbs 17:18-28
A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor. He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil. He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice. Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him. It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness. He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.
Proverbs 17:18-28 NASB
How can a fool change his actions and start acting wisely? This last verse really is a key. If a fool is silent, he may be thought to be wise. Being willing to stop talking and listen to the people, situations, and instruction around us is the first step to demonstrating more wisdom. Wisdom comes from God and as we are willing to listen to him, we will have more wisdom to display in our lives. But until then, learning to keep quiet and to listen more is an excellent place to start. We don’t know more than we realize and a wise person recognizes this and listens so they can learn. What actions are you displaying today?