- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:20
"Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."
This is the Hebrew word “us” which means to hurry or haste or urge or pressed. The idea is that there are people who constantly feel the need or the urge to talk. There are times when everyone has this strong urge to say things they feel or think. It is the pressure to speak that is being addressed here. Solomon is saying that if you allow that urge to win and you just say what is on your mind or heart because you think it or feel it, then your chances of success in life are not real high. You must learn to control your tongue. Not everything you think should see the light of day. Many times it is much better to listen.
There is also, in this proverb, a warning not just against the people who constantly have to express themselves but also warning you not becoming like this person by saying all those things that you want to say to a person in a fit of anger or in the midst of an argument. Solomon is saying that this kind of person does not have a good future; don't go down any part of this path.
Who do you know who is like this – letting everyone know when they are angry, bitter, sad, happy, excited? Are you like this? Do you get like this when you are angry or tired or depressed or overly excited or in the midst of an argument?
As an experiment, try not talking about yourself for one whole day. When you talk with other people ask questions about them, be fascinated with them. If they ask you about yourself, say "I am doing well" and then ask another question about them. Until you can be okay with letting others tell about themselves and you do not have to talk about yourself, you are like the man in this proverb – making haste with his words.
This is the Hebrew word “tiqwa” which means hope. Hope is the confident expectation of a good outcome in the future.
Solomon is saying that if you cannot keep your emotions to yourself, then there is very little expectation that things will turn out well for you in life.
This is the Hebrew word “kesil” which means fool or dullard. Remember that this is the great negative in Solomon's mind. This is the person that the whole book has been written to counteract. This is the person who is selfish, impulsive, angry, demanding, and rebellious. So for Solomon to say that he could be more confident about the future for the fool than for the people who are hasty in their words is incredibly significant.
Solomon is screaming: Get control over your tongue! If you do not know how to resist the pressure to talk or emote, then there is not much hope for you. This skill of swallowing your words before you say them is learned and does not come naturally. Learn it.
Now there are places where you can say what you feel and think, but it is not as often as you think. It is important that you find safe people and safe places where you can express yourself. Develop the ability to not give in to the pressure to say everything you think or feel. Once you speak out your thoughts, you become more identified with them. Many of your thoughts and emotions need to be passing particles rather than embraced and sculpted into a part of your regular thinking.
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