February 15, 2011
Proverbs on relationships, conflicts, and communication
A proverb about communication states “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 17:27). This may mean that a man shows himself to be a wise man by sensibly choosing his words in his mind and carefully choosing the way he articulates them with his mouth. He is cautious when he does speak for the purpose of retaining his good temper of mind and good government of tongue. He is calm and composed, for he has the gift of understanding. God knows what his intentions are and therefore he cannot be deceived in his judgment as others may be. He is a man of calm and noble spirit because he is understanding. This man of understanding possesses knowledge and is generally a man of few words. He possibly thinks much but says little. He may be communicative of his knowledge to the right people and at the right times, yet he never speaks of it in a boasting and pretentious way or retrains his words. He allows not himself to speak rashly and angrily in a reproachful manner, when he is provoked to do so. This man of understanding is of an excellent, cool spirit which is a spirit that does not become easily angered or provoked to wrath. The spirit is calm, sedate, and peaceful. He has a spirit full of faith and love, of a sound mind, and a spirit of prayer. He is tenderhearted, sympathizing and forgiving; he is humble in spirit.
A proverb about conflict states, “Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14). There is danger in the beginning of strife, so it is best to resist its earliest display and to leave if off before you even begin to say or do anything that you could regret.
It is better to leave off contention, before it is meddled with. If you can see what an altercation will lead to, then it is better to not begin it. Before two opposing people come