Hold Your Peace (Proverbs 17)

Pro 17:14, 27-28 NKJV (14) The beginning of strife [is like] releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. … (27) He who has knowledge spares his words, [And] a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. (28) Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; [When] he shuts his lips, [he is considered] perceptive.

Dear Son, there are some things that once you start it’s hard to stop until everything if finished. One of those things is urinating (that is what is intended by ‘releasing water’ in verse 14). To try and stop this task before it’s over may leave you with a greater urgency for release than when you started. So it is with quarrelling. You think you might just say a word about someone and stop, but then they say something back, and so you feel you have to set the record straight and so on. Then it’s not long before other people start picking sides in the quarrel saying things over and over about one another until it seems like there is nothing but hatred and rage.

The best way to stop an unnecessary fight is to make sure you never start one. The best way to avoid starting a fight is to hold your tongue. The world is full of fools who speak to a matter or about a person without understanding. We just lived through the covid-19 pandemic and one of the greatest threats we faced wasn’t the virus itself but people picking sides over issues they didn’t even fully understand. Fools took to social media to spout their opinion about everything.

It can be difficult to hold your peace when you are provoked. There will be times when you feel that you need say something, but it’s better to let it go without comment. It’s wise to learn when something is just not your fight or not worth fighting over. Peace is often won not by appeasing someone else’s wrath, but by holding back your own from ever starting. Win the battle within and you’ll be considered wise. Learn to hold your peace.

Father, thank you for the grace of watching my children grow. I pray that you would build your character in each one of them. I pray that they would all learn to hold their peace. That when they feel the urge to say a word to start a quarrel or gossip about someone that they would have sense to hold off and hold the peace. Give them gracious tongues that build up and don’t tear down. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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