The Wisdom of Restraint
Proverbs 17:1-19:29Proverbs 17:1, 14, 27, “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. … Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. … The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”
An alarm goes off. Music blares. The morning news is heard on the TV, and then the shouting begins. In a moment, the peace found within the silence of the early morning is shattered as tempers flare and new arguments are born with a lack of restraint.Restraint… in a culture that emphasizes individual freedoms and encourages self-centeredness, the word may not seem like a good thing. BUT here, in Proverbs, we see the wisdom of it. It takes wisdom to bite the tongue, even when we’re in the right. Because timing is everything. Discussions may need to be had, but in moments of anger, nothing is accomplished. By holding back words until either the right time or not at all, we can prevent fights and lead the way to peace in our relationships.Are you a quarrelsome person? Or, do you show restraint until the right time to broach touchy subjects? Do the latter, and you will soon find the peace and tranquility needed to have a fully functioning day that’s productive and on purpose with all that God wants you to accomplish!
Heavenly Father, Give me wisdom in the way I use my words. Let me be a peacemaker in my relationships. Help me know, by the power of the Holy Spirit, when to speak up and when to use restraint. Amen.