Today many value “honesty” and “openness,” and it is argued that we should ventilate our feelings or else risk damaging ourselves by bottling them up. We are also told that cynicism is wise, and we should not be gullible, but instead critical. The truth is, little thought is given to how giving full vent to the evil that is bottled up in our hearts might damage others. The Bible instead repeatedly tells us to control ourselves. The following series of proverbs challenged me, and I want to try and live my life by them more and more in the future.
Firstly, I do not want to be a scoffer. Rather, I want to be one who, instead of being provocative, turns away anger. Secondly, I do not want to become like a fool by engaging him in debate. No profit can come of that. Thirdly, I want to be one who genuinely rejoices when others do well, and root out any trace of jealousy. Finally, I want to be known as someone who does NOT give full vent to my innermost thoughts, but instead holds much in reserve.
Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.
A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.