The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer. Proverbs 15:28
Someone who is shy is very hard to get to know. It takes a long time for them to feel safe in a relationship. They move slowly toward others and intimacy is not quickly achieved. Many hurt deeply from the wounds of past relationships and, as a result, pull inward to prevent more pain. They are hard to read, safely veiled behind a stoic exterior. They rarely express how they feel about an issue for fear of rejection. Pondering before answering is a way of life but this is not what Solomon describes. The fearful person does not ponder for the sake of righteousness. Considering his words carefully is self-protective and has little to do with God.
Someone who is manipulative is also careful with his words. He ponders before opening his mouth in order to successfully posture himself for an advantage. He endeavors not to be genuine, but to say whatever will benefit him. Most every conversation is self-promoting. He is ambitious, even to the point of ruthless. Beware. His speech is like butter and the flattery he offers, while it feels wonderful, is calculated and well rehearsed. Manipulative pondering is also not what Solomon describes.
A righteous person ponders before he speaks so that God will be glorified. He knows that if he expresses himself indiscriminately, his words will be soul-ish, even foolish. He understands the power of the tongue and, by God’s grace, exercises the discipline of restraint. He is neither self-protective nor self-promoting. His passion is to think like Jesus and, therefore, talk like Jesus. The wisdom that flows out of the heart of the righteous child of God is cultivated in secret. It is the result of many hours spent at the Rabbi’s feet.
Search me at the place of my motives. Let my pondering be a holy thing, not self-promoting or self-protecting. Show me how to think like You as You write Your Word in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen