Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is counted prudent (Proverbs 17:28 NASB).
I’ve always liked this verse. I quote it often. To myself.
How many times have I opened my mouth to say something clever or funny or smart and come away feeling like an idiot? Why do I open my mouth in the first place?
I want people to like me. So I try to make them.
And I guess that’s foolish. That’s me being a fool.
As one who longs to be like Christ, as one who wants my identity to be fully in Him, wanting people to like me makes no sense.
He came to seek and save, not to be liked. He came to lay down His life, not to be popular. He came to love, not to make everyone love Him.
To try to be liked, or popular, or to make everyone love me is the opposite of what He was all about when He walked this earth. It’s the opposite of who I want to be.
And yet, for some reason, I keep wanting these things. And I’m guessing I’m not alone if I listen to pop culture for any length of time.
I want to be liked, and popular, respected, loved. Everyone does. But people will fail me.
Attaining these things from people is foolish.
My identity is in Christ. And He’s the One who likes me, loves me, honors me.
It’s a foolish thing to seek these things from people and so when I do, I come out looking like a fool.
It’s a wise thing to seek these things from my God who gives freely. And so when I do, I gain wisdom.
And that desire to be liked is filled. As I become more like Jesus, laying down my life, loving for the sake of love and not my own gain, my heart is filled.
What if I kept silent when I would normally try to say something cute or clever? What if I kept my eyes on Jesus? What if I longed for His identity more than I did for the recognition of man? What if this fool kept silent?
Ironically, then people would think me wise.
Lord, let my eyes, my heart, my mind be on You. Let the words of my mouth be Your words.