Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
2 A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
28 In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
I remember when I was a teenager and had an opinion about everything and wanted to share it. But the older I get, the more I prefer to listen.
Once I received an e-mail from a Russian female colleague with a request that struck me as completely inappropriate. She asked for information about my activities that was beyond the realm of her responsibility. I cringed while reading the request, but decided not to send off an inappropriate angry response but instead seek more information. I’m glad I did.
A few minutes later my colleague wrote to say that the information this lady was asking for was not for her personally, but for our Department, which had every right to seek for that information.
People who fail to control their emotions face the specter of embarrassment and shame. “A fool's wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame” (v. 16). Before allowing yourself to feel annoyed about a perceived slight, seek more information from the source. When someone comes to you with a complaint or a suggestion, get as much information as you can and then repeat what you have heard to make sure you understood the issue correctly.
Indeed, “a prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness” (v. 23).
Editor, Adventist Mission