bite your tongueProverbs 18:13 is a proverb we would all do well to learn and heed for our well-being and relationship with others.

Proverbs 18:13“He that answereth [responds; reacts] a matter [speech; verbal communication; a judgment] before he heareth [understand; perceive; discern] it, it is folly [silly foolishness; thickheaded] and shame [shame; disgrace] unto him.”

Our culture has become reactive to news and events without acknowledging that, until the facts are in, we are incapable of making a judicious conclusion in a matter or event.

Recent events in Ferguson, MO are illustrative of a community and nation that has violated Proverbs 18:13: What we do know is that a police officer and an 18-year-old man became involved in a confrontation that led to the tragic shooting death of the young man and the officer involved facing death threats and a media News Medialynching.  News cameras are filming, reporters reporting, police and politicians parceling out bits and pieces of information and agitators like Al Sharpton stirring up animosity; however, no one knows all the facts in this tragic event.  God’s Word admonishes us that it is a disgrace, folly and shame to make a judgment until all the facts are in!

Now, before you give a hearty “Amen” and tag this devotion with a “Like”; consider your own ways when it comes to drawing a conclusion and setting a course of action.

How many reading this devotional have made decisions, spoken out of turn or reacted to something you heard without getting all the facts?  If we are honest, we have all played the fool at times by jumping to conclusions!  Some have believed a teenager’s side of an event and foolishly charged an authority with having wronged your child–without all the facts.  Others listened to a disgruntled friend and took sides, not taking time to acknowledge there is more to a story than you were told.  Some have made life-changing decisions, taken sides and are now too proud to admit—you did not have all the facts.

KnowTheFactsWe would admonish the rioters in Ferguson, MO to stop the pillaging and await the judicial process; however, are we also willing to exercise the same biblical discretion when it comes to our own lives and choices?  Are we willing to swallow our pride, confess we have been given to reactions and admit—We have played the fool by not taking time to hear both sides in a disagreement.

In the spirit of Proverbs 18:13Shame on you!

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith