A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
Why would it be prudent to conceal knowledge? It would be prudent to conceal knowledge from people who will misuse that knowledge. They may publicize what ought to be kept private. They may maliciously use the knowledge to hurt others or obtain ill-gotten gain. It would be prudent to conceal knowledge from the foolish, who may harm themselves and others simply by their foolishness. It would also be prudent to conceal knowledge from those who would disdain that knowledge. And it would be prudent to withhold knowledge from those who would only be stirred up to commit blasphemy and create turmoil.
Once, someone asked my counsel about whether or not to reply to an offensive email. I counseled not to because she most likely would only receive further offense. The other person was set in her opinions and would not receive reproof well. Wisdom includes knowing when and when not to speak. Jesus himself counseled not to throw pearls before swine. A person must have the right frame of mind in order to receive knowledge.
What then do we do? We pray; for it is the work of the Spirit to give ears to hear. Pray for the Spirit to open the door (Paul’s own prayer: Colossians 4:3) for the truth to be heard. Pray for wisdom to know when to speak and how to speak. Treat knowledge as you would treat anything that has potential for good and harm.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org