Daily Devotional: Day 170
“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Proverbs 29:11, KJV).
One of the most important victories in life is to conquer yourself. Yes, yourself. That means mastering and restraining your passions, feelings and thoughts. This is not cowardice. Neither is it about bottling up your feelings while harboring bitterness, anger and fear. No, this is about self-mastery, God’s way. Conquering yourself this way is a demonstration of strength and godly wisdom. According to the Bible, it is what separates the fool from the wise. It’s the height of soundness and maturity. If you’re going to follow Christ, learning to keep your emotions and thoughts in check is not optional. It’s a must.
Uncontrolled power is destructive power.
Look at today’s reading. It says that the fool utters all his mind; but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards. The word “mind” used by the King James Version is a translation of the Hebrew word ruwach. Ruwach can mean any of the following: spirit, wind, breath, or temper. So, think of yourself as a vessel containing a powerful force of wind: emotions, feelings, passions and thoughts. Imagine what will happen if you let loose this power inside you without adequate control. You can hurt a lot of people; but if you learn to regulate what’s inside you, you will heal and not hurt; you will build up and not tear down; you will bring peace and not confusion; you will stop satan from taking advantage of you.
The Bible says that the fool lets out all his emotions, but the wise man regulates it. Let’s illustrate this point with an example from daily life. Being a good cook is not just about picking the right recipe. A big part of cooking is learning to regulate the temperature to get the best result. When the temperature is not well regulated, you may have under-cooked food or overcooked food. Similarly, you are the regulator of your inner passions, feelings and thoughts. How you handle yourself will affect how you handle others.
Don’t start a fire you can’t quench.
Some people suppose that honesty or assertiveness means always saying what’s on your mind or letting out your emotions. But there’s a problem with this line of thinking. The fact that you have something on your mind doesn’t mean you should say it. You need to consider the timing, place, audience and implication of what you’re about to say or do. This an essential aspect of Christian discernment.
A wise man discerns before he acts. People who have little to no control over their feelings often react without giving much thought to their actions and words. They act before they think. Then, when things get out of hand, they resort to their favorite expressions: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it.” Or, “Oh, that came out wrong.” Or, “I don’t know what I was thinking.” Today, God wants you to apply His wisdom to regulate your feelings, thoughts and passions. You will become a blessing.
May the Lord bless you and keep you from all harm. Amen.
For further study: Romans 12:9-21