Proverbs 14:33 tells us that “Wisdom rests in the heart of person of understanding, but in the hearts of fools it is made known.” Of all the proverbs about the person of understanding, this one may be the least immediately clear. But be encouraged. The Lord uses even
difficult passages to prompt the hungry to search more diligently for the spiritual food in His Word. For as we read in Proverbs 25:2, “It is to the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is to the glory of kings to search it out.”
When we study Proverbs 14:33, compare its key words to their uses in other passages in Scripture and pray to honor Jesus and serve His people, it seems that the message is similar to Proverbs 12:23. Both convey one more difference between a wise person and a fool: the former is often quiet, patient and attentive to others without having to “teach” them whenever they’re together, but the latter must blurt out whatever they know or just think they know.
This truth has many applications for us as leaders and counselors. Consider sharing some of the following with your people for discussion, prayer and growth as individuals, families, churches and other organizations.
First, as our Lord frequently taught, we must continually do self-checks of our spirit. We must always remember our own need before the Father, turn to Him for more grace in His Son to grow and to praise Him for the changes He brings through His Spirit. Such private and public confessions and testimonies will encourage the Body of Christ that our God is still very active in individuals’ lives. These will also help us to stay humble when we need to lead or counsel others who seem quick to spout their knowledge without much discretion or love.
We must also be able to recognize not only who is knowledge but who also seems to be humble. They don’t always talk. They more often listen. They don’t have to reveal their intellectual understanding. They more often want to learn more of God’s heart that speaks true healing or the other person’s heart that may be trying to speak their true hurt. For when we can identify the ones who seem to be both knowledgeable and humble, we may be more likely to pour our energies into them in whom Jesus’ Spirit is already working for real and lasting growth. Trying to pour our efforts into a “knowledgeable” fool will be like pouring proverbial water onto a duck’s back.
One last application for my fellow leaders and counselors before this post gets too long: this quieter wisdom can be one of the ways we might recognize other believers as potential mentors for us. As those who probably know God’s Word fairly well, we don’t primary need someone to give us more information from the Bible or train us in techniques to influence others for more godly relationships. We need fellow followers of Jesus who humbly love Jesus and therefore will listen to us, hear the bottoms of our hearts and continually bring us back to Him.
…back to His grace that forgives, changes and leads us.
…back to His plan that includes us and other undeserving people just like us and others who seem very different than us.
…back to His glory that shines more beautifully and powerfully than ours ever could.
Such people have a quieter wisdom because, in reading His Word and praying, they’ve come to enjoy speaking less and listening more to God’s Wisdom: Jesus.