Proverbs 29:11 and 20 NKJV
11 A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.
20 Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Just so we are on the same page, here is the definition of a time hack according to Oxford Languages Dictionary. "A strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way.
What we are talking about today are strategies and techniques used to exhibit more wisdom in a more efficient way. Admittedly I made up the term, but the Proverbs are full of strategies and techniques that, when implemented, will enable us to go from being foolish to being wise.
The first wisdom hack is to not vent all of your feelings. This especially pertains to all your negative feelings. I realize that this wisdom hack flies in the face of conventional wisdom. The wisdom of the world says that if you keep feelings inside, they will become toxic and hurt you. But God's wisdom is not man's wisdom. God's wisdom says that holding back on expressing your feelings is the best way, the way of wisdom.
I am all for self-awareness and facing the issues that are troubling us. But simply spewing out negatives is not getting the toxins out; it's letting them in. Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Venting all our negative feelings is giving voice to spiritual death.
Instead, we should pray and ask the Lord to help us deal with the reason behind the negatives that dog our tracks. And ask Him to heal the broken areas of our hearts.
The second wisdom hack is to not be quick with our words. Hasty is not tasty. I don't know if that would make a good bumper sticker or meme, but it's worth remembering. And with typical Proverbs bluntness, the person who is too quick to speak is worse off than a fool.
We are the only creations made in the image of God, and we are the only ones of His creations that can speak and choose words. Not that other creations of God can't communicate. They may be able to communicate but not nearly on the level of mankind. And because this is a very God-like part of us, our words are more powerful than we have realized. In the book of James, the author charges us to be quick to hear and slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). If we are quick to hear, we'll be slower to speak. And if we are slower to speak, we'll be slower to get angry. And man's anger does not work or demonstrate God's goodness and rightness.
Maybe it's because I am so verbal that the subject of our words is so close to my heart. Or maybe it's because I have violated these wisdom hacks and experienced the negative outcomes that make words one of my main teaching topics.
I do know this for sure. I have benefited from holding back on any kind of venting. And so have the people who live and work with me. And I know that I have rarely had to retract my words when I was slower to speak.
God's wisdom, when applied, produces wise people. And wise people do better in all aspects of life.
Lord, help me to hold back on venting, especially to other people. And help me to be quick to hear and slow to speak. I want to be someone full of Your wisdom.