Pr. 10:8: “The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall.”
This verse reminds me of the scribes and Pharisees about which Jesus spoke in Matthew 23. They would tell the people all that they should do, lay heavy burdens of duty upon the people’s shoulders, and loved to be the center of attention. These men would be seen in the synagogues, at the best feasts, and making long eloquent prayers in order to draw all attention upon themselves.
With their many words, they exalted themselves. Jesus said, “but all their works they do to be seen by men.” Jesus called them hypocrites, fools, and blind, saying they were clean on the outside but full of uncleanness on the inside. “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Mt.23:28
Over and over, Jesus reminded those who listened and received His commands that He came to serve and they we are called to do the same. “He who humbles himself will be exalted.” Mt.23:12. Those who are truly wise in heart are those who listen to the words of God and hide them in their hearts. The wisdom they receive from the Lord is then put into practice. It is not something about which they simply chatter.
Learning from them, we must examine ourselves from time to time. If we find ourselves talking more than those around us, there is a strong likelihood that we’re no longer receiving commands, but possibly trying to give them. Constantly stating our own opinion is a warning sign, as well. Unless speaking is our full-time job, having wisdom within is not something we must prove with words. Putting our beliefs into action usually what speaks the loudest.
To be truly wise servants, we must ensure that we are clean on the inside. As we’ve heard, the outward appearance means nothing to God. The blood of Jesus washes and cleanses us from the inside out, and the Word pierces to the division of soul and spirit, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. If there is anything in our hearts that needs to be cleansed, God is the answer. He will cleanse us from our sins, create a clean heart within us, and draw us nearer to Him.
When we are truly clean, God can use us to minister to and encourage His people. Listen closely and serve joyfully. When our works of service are done for His glory, He uses us more and more. This is the recipe that will keep us from falling. We won’t have to exalt ourselves. He promised to exalt us Himself one day.