Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wisdom is: Self-Controlled

We've already established that wisdom is humble. So what will we add to the list today? I'm thinking... discipline.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11 ESV) 

In the original Hebrew text, the word ruach was used in place of "spirit." This word incorporated several meanings, such as motives and thoughts, as well as wind. Now, the wind in a sail sets a ship in motion, like motives to a person. The wind blows as it will, and there's not a whole lot we can do about that... but we can choose to adjust our sails. With discipline, the wise man chooses whether or not to go where the wind blows.

Its not always best to do what we want or to do what feels good. A wise man not only determines the difference between these times, he uses self-control to follow through and do whats right. Simply put, a wise man is in control of his actions.

That was the complicated example. The next two are super simple:

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27 ESV)

A wise man is in control of his tongue. Zip. The. Lip. Thats a lot easier for me to say than it is for me to do. (Although, it might not be easy to say at all if my lips were actually zipped...) Not all thoughts need to be shared, not every question should be asked, and some information just should not be passed along.

And last but not least...

A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NET)

Its true; believe it or not, you are in control of your emotions. Yes, even anger. You can feed the feelings or allow them to fade away. It's up to you. (Feel free to revisit the wind analogy from earlier.) I'll save the PYSCH 101 for another post, but know this: we tend to either be completely driven by emotions, or completely shut off from them. Neither one is healthy nor demonstrates self-control. God put them there for a reason, so why not start by taking them to Him?

A wise man is disciplined in his actions, his words, and with his emotions. Wisdom is self-controlled.

1 comment:

Josh said...

Those are very wise words. They're words to live by. The part about adjust our sails reminded me of a quote I'd gone back over earlier, from Bruce Lee. It's his quote about being like water, and adjusting to an object in your path. I think that's another great example of wisdom, if you can do that.