Proverbs 23:9 In Support of Not Talking It Out

9 Do not speak to fools,
    for they will scorn your prudent words.

In Support of Not Talking It Out

In many cases it is prudent to talk through a problem. It is good to assess why the problem occurred and how to prevent such a thing from happening again.  Also, it can be good to talk about our feelings and why we feel them.  Some people would lean toward this being how we react in all circumstances.  However, there are times when a conversation is not going to go well.  The specific instance in mind here is a conversation with a fool.  This is different from a conversation with an idiot.  An idiot knows nothing.  A fool interprets facts as if there is no God.  A fool, then, has no higher authority than humanity or self to draw upon.  The biblically wise can draw upon the authority of scripture and an appeal to God to form some common basis. Of course, in many issues of great importance the godly and ungodly will come to different conclusions.  It is a waste of time arguing in such circumstances.  Jesus reinforces this when he says, “Do not cast your pearls to swine (Mtt. 7:6).”  Paul reinforces this when he says not to argue with meaningless philosophies which depend upon the authority of men (Col. 2:8).

Questions

  1. With whom do wise people not speak?
  2. What is a fool biblically?
  3. What often happens when a godly person engages in an argument with an ungodly one?
  4. How should a Christian detach themselves from discussions?
  5. From what kinds of discussions should Christians detach? 
  6. Why do people want to win arguments?  What happens to a relationship when someone wins an argument?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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