"A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly."
Do you find that those who continually run their mouths, bragging about themselves and what they have and who they know--and who knows them--can be very irritating and difficult to be around? And sometimes what they are bragging about is true! They really do have and know and are known.
I have often wondered if it was just my problem, that perhaps I was unknowingly envious. There is warning in the Scriptures not to be envious of the wicked (Proverbs 24:19, Psalm 37:1), or even our neighbor, desiring what he has (Exodus 20:17). Nonetheless, there is a great comparison in the Scriptures between men who tell all and those who are silent about themselves. I love what Matthew Henry had to say about this Proverbs 12:23.
1. He that is wise does not affect to proclaim his wisdom, and it is his honour that he does not. He communicates his knowledge when it may turn to the edification of others, but he conceals it when the showing of it would only tend to his own commendation. Knowing men, if they be prudent men, will carefully avoid every thing that savours of ostentation, and not take all occasions to show their learning and reading, but only to use it for good purposes, and then let their own works praise them. Ars est celare artem—The perfection of art is to conceal it. 2. He that is foolish cannot avoid proclaiming his folly, and it is his shame that he cannot: The heart of fools, by their foolish words and actions, proclaims foolishness; either they do not desire to hide it, so little sense have they of good and evil, honour and dishonour, or they know not how to hide it, so little discretion have they in the management of themselves, Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary Online
My prayer today is for myself and my encouragement for those I love.
Oh, Lord, help me to learn to keep my eyes and ears open, my hands and works of love diligent, and my mouth shut. May my works praise me, and not my own lips, and if anyone speaks boastfully of me may it be another and not myself.
With sealed lips,