Proverbs 23:9 (NLT)
Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.
Do you have a hard time walking away from an argument? Do you know someone that is always pushing back on your opinions or advice and you just can’t seem to get anywhere with them despite how hard you try? Perhaps it’s a co-worker or a neighbor or someone at church…or maybe one of your own kids. Perhaps it’s time to take a break from trying.
God calls each of us to be good stewards of our time, talents, and treasure and He wants us to get the best “bang for our buck”, if you will. Additionally, God calls us to be wise in our daily dealings, which is why the Book of Proverbs is such a powerful ally as we work our way through the daily challenges of life. Additionally, the Bible has much to say when it comes to the content of our speech and the control of our tongues, and today’s passage fits well into this category as it calls us to examine when and where we deploy godly wisdom.
If you are a parent, you know how easy it is to get into a back-and-forth argument with your kids, but especially when they are teenagers. Sadly, most teens are not just wise in their own eyes (Is. 5:21), but their immaturity and lack of life experience tends to make them into fools who despise wisdom…no matter how well you make your case. In those cases, it is best to just walk away as today’s verse suggests and do your parenting on your knees in prayer and truth them into the trustworthy hands of the Lord. Sooner or later they will mature and be willing to receive the wise counsel you would like to impart.
When it comes to the other “fools” in your life, their development is not your responsibility, so just walk away! Don’t let your pride keep you in the fight because you won’t just unnecessarily frustrate yourself, but you will most likely harm your Christian witness as well. You aren’t a “loser” when you walk away…you are a wise steward of your time. But if that person is outside of Christ and you are trying to witness to them, you must remember that without the Holy Spirit they simply lack the ability to fully grasp the Truth. Make a good case for Christ, of course, but it is the Holy Spirit that will bring them to understanding…not your persuasive ability.