Over the past several days, I have been wading through the book of Proverbs. It is a book filled with wisdom. Maybe a better way to describe Proverbs is that it overflows with wisdom. It contains so much that is pertinent to my life and our lives as followers of the Way, that is Christ. Some might be wondering about the title of today’s post: “A Cool Spirit.” If you guessed that this comes from Proverbs, then a hearty Amen and a kewpie doll for you.
Forgive me for dragging things out, but here is the verse for those with inquiring minds: “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” (Proverbs 17:27, ESV). I wonder what knowledge Solomon refers to in this verse. Maybe it is the knowledge of knowing the effect that unrestrained words have upon the speaker and his audience. There are verses in Proverbs, which would support that claim such as Prov. 12:18.
If I know the effect that my words have upon those listening, then I will take steps to watch what I say and how I say it. This may suggest that I have had painful experiences doing the opposite. It might mean that I have witnessed others’ brutal consequences in speaking without thinking. Either way, those circumstances have brought about a knowledge regarding unrestrained words.
According to this verse in Proverbs, there is another side to this coin of restraining my words. The second half of this verse states that a person with “a cool spirit is a man of understanding” (Prov. 17:27b, ESV). This calls out responding in the heat of the moment, always speaking according to my emotions and more. Again, I think this verse illustrates the importance of self-control with respect to my emotions, my temper.
I want to be someone who exhibits knowledge and understanding in my interactions with people. Self-control is crucial and only possible by the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Of course, this means that I must submit to his work. Pride must be cast aside. The old man needs to be told no again and again and again. He refuses to die even though the death blow has been administered by Christ’s work on the cross. In Christ, I am capable of restraining my words and exhibiting a cool spirit. This is my hope and plea. How about you?