There is a nursery rhyme about the wise old owl who lived in an oak that goes like this:
A wise old owl sat in an oak,Author Unknown
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?
The moral of this rhyme is that wisdom increases when we listen more and talk less.
Wisdom, according to scripture, belongs to the white-haired people (Proverbs 20:29) and those who listen more than they speak (James 1:19). It is even possible for a fool to be thought wise if he keeps silent.
28Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.Proverbs 17:28
Paul, in his letter to Corinth, reminds the church that the wisdom of God doesn’t look like we might expect. He says this:
20So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. . . . Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.1 Corinthians 1:20-25
Some days I am tempted to feel foolish. Foolish for holding tightly to the power of God through Christ’s death on the cross. Foolish for writing, speaking, living with Christ at the front. The enemy whispers to me, telling me I’m a joke. I recognize his voice and the feelings it stirs in me.
What about you? Do you ever feel foolish for something you’ve done? A word you have spoken? A kind gesture?
I agree with the nursery rhyme in that I learn so much when I listen and wait to speak. It gives the Holy Spirit opportunity to reveal secrets I would not otherwise know. But remember, even a fool looks wise when he is silent. If the Lord gives you something to do or say or write — Do it! Say it! Write it! Even if the world thinks it’s foolish.