Be Wise In How You Handle Truth
"Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words." Proverbs 23:9 Sometimes it's better to just remain silent rather than to speak truth that you know right well the listener will scorn. When an issue comes up, the knowledgeable one can be too quick to defend his position, but what good is it if the listener does not have ears to hear? He will only argue with you but the argument will go nowhere and will only create hard feelings on both sides. No, judge well before you speak. Consider the ability of the hearer to understand, and if you know he won't, then be silent. "Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." Matthew 7:6 If you know that your words will be trampled on, why pursue it? You will not win. He cannot hear. It's not that he won't, he can't. Let it go. There is far more effectiveness in intercessory prayer when you're dealing with someone who is not able to receive what you're saying. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man AVAILS MUCH." James 5:16 Learn to be in control of your tongue. "See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity." James 3:5-6 This is exactly what we need to avoid. When each one is arguing in defense of his own position, it profits nothing and leads only to anger and the bitterness that anger will produce, truly "a world of iniquity." Be the first to back down, even when you're sure you're right. Don't let pride and arrogance cause you to press on until you can put your opponent down. This is where you cross into folly. vs 17-18: "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." Pray for control of your tongue, to control one's tongue is one of the hardest things we're called to do. Pray for wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. Pray for strength to have control over not only what you say but when to say it. Pray for the ability to present your case in a gentle way, to avoid rising voices which will get you nowhere. Pray to know when to stop. The Scriptures counsel us to defend the faith, and every believer should be able to do that and do it well. But we must always be watchful whether the one we're speaking to has the ability to receive what is being said. If you know that this argument is not going to be received, just be silent. Wait on the Lord! Always be ready to give an answer, but wait on him to know when to speak and when to be silent.