Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

12 Hatred stirs up conflict,

   but love covers over all wrongs.

13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,

   but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

14 The wise store up knowledge,

   but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

 It is not feelings which are at issue here, but rather the behaviors they inspire. One may have perfectly good reasons for feeling a certain way, which are often beyond his control, but his response is always his responsibility. The wise determine their behavior not by feelings but by outcomes. You may be tempted to stir up conflict, but is that what you really want? If you would prefer peace, act in a loving way regardless of how you feel. Don’t dwell on the wrongs you’ve endured, cover them with forgiveness and refuse to carry them. It is better for your feelings to follow your behavior than for your behavior to follow your feelings.

 “Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.” The discerning think things through, and are able not only to avoid trouble but also to inspire others through their speech. But the fool, whose mind is full of nonsense, has nothing but the force of consequence to guide him through life.

 “The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” The wise, in their prudence, preserve knowledge for the proper time and circumstance. What seems trivial today may be essential tomorrow, today’s discipline may be tomorrow’s freedom. The fool, on the other hand, has neither prudence nor discretion. He speaks instead of listening, laughs at caution and mocks discipline.  When disaster strikes he is the first to fall, his ruin a lesson to all who witness it.

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