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Shut Up

Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 17 P. 241 – Shut Up

Proverbs 17: King James Bible

Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter seventeen, Verses 27-28

27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. 28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Daily Inspiration from These Verses

I remember for years, I wondered why someone with knowledge didn’t choose to share the knowledge with others. I would wonder about the point of being so tight lipped about something that they should naturally have something to say about.

But eventually, I came to the understanding that I was taking the scripture all wrong. I believe the Lord opened my eyes to what is actually being said here.

What it isn’t saying, is that someone is withholding knowledge from other people. That is the way I came to originally understand this verse, and I really can’t explain why,aside from reading too quickly through the verses without chewing my food.

What it is saying, is that if someone has knowledge, knows to keep his mouth shut, or otherwise uses his words sparingly. Because he’s knowledgeable of the Word of God, and the truth behind what scripture says about the things that come out of our mouths, he chooses carefully what words he chooses to use, and what things he will or won’t comment on.

As if to prove to us how effective using words sparingly can be, verse 28 explains it well. But let’s not pass by the second part to verse 27. This is another situation, where we need to pay close attention to how the scripture is worded.

What the second half of verse 27 does not say, is that a man of understanding has an excellent spirit. What it does say, is that he’s of an excellent spirit. Big difference there.

One would mean that the person’s spirit is excellent. The latter would mean that they are of an excellent spirit. “Of” meaning that you are connected to a greater spirit, which would quite literally be the Holy Spirit.

The former boasts of the person, the latter boasts of the Lord. I just thought that it is important for us to distinguish between the two, and understand what it’s saying here.

Concerning the next verse, verse 28…

I’ve actually used the truth of this verse on several occasions.The occasion that was the most important, was at one point in my life, I wound up with a job that I wasn’t qualified for at all (at least on paper).

I remember my grandmother taking me aside just before my first day, and told me,”Whatever you do, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.” I didn’t know whether or not to be grateful for the advice or insulted.

She was right though. It is amazing what you can learn if you decide to keep your mouth shut, pay attention, and ask questions when necessary. If memory serves, it very verse was quoted to me at the time, and it is just as effective today in many circumstances, as it’s ever been.

Praise God for the truth of his Word.


Related New Testament Scripture

Ephesians 5: King James Bible

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whore-monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Colossians 4: King James Bible

6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Titus 2: King James Bible

7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.



Thank you for all of the things that you place in your Word for us to discover, and for opening our eyes to the deeper things that you’ve included. Teach is Father, when we should open our mouths, ad when to keep them shut. Let us not abuse this gift of communication which you’ve given, and may your Word always rest in our hearts, and be found on our lips. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.



How many different occurrences can you think of, where you’d have been better off, if you’d have just shut up?

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