Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

22 The Lord detests lying lips,

   but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,

   but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

 

 All of the suffering of the world, all of the corruption and all of the brokenness can be traced back to a single moment of deceit: “did God really say ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” It is not the size of the lie that matters but its effect, the greatest catastrophe of mankind began with a slight departure from the truth. This means we ought to take deceit very seriously, as the Lord does, no matter how minor it may seem.

 

 “But he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Although honesty is intrinsically worthwhile, it has the added benefit of delight. While there is freedom for those who are trustworthy, a liar cannot escape his own complicated web. Not a day passes without an opportunity to exercise trustworthiness; there is room for delight even in the mundane rhythms of life.  

 

 “The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.” The prudent do not accumulate knowledge merely to impress others, but to make use of it in the proper time. Unsolicited advice is the most likely to be dismissed, why squander knowledge on the incurious? But the fool has a different aim, and that is only to impress others, whether his opinion was requested or not. By exposing his heart he undermines his own purpose, leaving an entirely different impression than intended.

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