The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The thought here is that the wise make good use of knowledge in their communication. Unwise use of knowledge is devastating and has a long history. From the childhood friend who shares that the other girls don’t like you to the misuse of statistics and research, abuse of knowledge can wreak havoc. The wise, however, know what conclusions to draw from knowledge; they know how to communicate knowledge in such a way that it is received appropriately; they know when to keep silent, when they are casting pearls before swine and when they are providing a cold cup of water.
Fools, on the other hand, pour out folly that is all the more dangerous when the folly contains truth. Gossip that is true is more harmful than if it is false, as is the inappropriate leaking of secrets. This is why there are several proverbs that speak of the wise man keeping silent. He is not withholding information that needs to be heard, but he is being careful to speak only when doing so promotes good.
How will you use your knowledge today? In a world in which knowledge (and communicating that knowledge) is at the touch of a keyboard, it is all the more important to “commend” knowledge rather than abuse it.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org