‘Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. Proverbs 13:16’
Fantasy or fact? Fiction or nonfiction? Hopeful or certain? Are you sure? Every man must choose the basis for his thinking and dealing in life. Fools operate in the make-believe world of their own opinions and speculations, and their folly is visible to all. Wise men prudently choose knowledge for all their thinking, speaking, and actions.
Solomon said it well elsewhere, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Pr 14:15). There is the difference. The fool believes most anything that comes down the pike, while the prudent man is cautious and skeptical about everything. He also wrote, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Pr 22:3). Prudent men consider what could happen and avoid it; fools blindly rush on in heady ignorance and are punished. Love caution!
Prudent men are wise, discreet, circumspect, and use sound judgment. They are very careful to only deal with what can be proven as fact. They do not trust everything they hear or read; it must be established with evidence before they will consider it. They do not jump to conclusions, listen to rumors, trust sensationalism, or allow exaggerations. They do not talk about things they know little, enter activities they do not understand, associate with people they do not know, or accept opinions without all the facts (Pr 14:8).
Fools believe most everything, especially if it confirms their foolish suppositions. They are looking for anything to support their ignorant opinions; they trust it as truth, and they repeat it to others. They do not truly want understanding; they only want to reveal and publish what is in their hearts (Pr 18:2). If it sounds plausible, they believe it. If it sounds sensational and likely to cause a stir, they really get excited about it. They answer matters before they even hear them (Pr 18:13). Feelings are as good as facts to them. Shame!
Prudent men study before answering, but fools pour out folly (Pr 15:28). Prudent men do not tell all they know, but fools talk about what they do not know (Pr 12:23). Prudent men use knowledge aright, but fools pour out foolishness (Pr 15:2). Fools show folly by word and deed every day (Eccl 10:3). Noble men scrutinize all things (Acts 17:11).
Solomon nailed the fool in Ecclesiastes. He described these babblers as starting with foolish talk and ending with mischievous madness (Ec 10:13). They are full of words, even though no man knows what is going to happen tomorrow (Ec 10:14), and they are frustrated by hard work, because they cannot figure out the simplest things (Ec 10:15).
Paul ordered you to be wise and understanding the will of the Lord (Eph 5:17). You are to be men, not children, in understanding (I Cor 14:20). Saints prove all things (I Thess 5:21). The only true source of knowledge is the word of God and the fear of God (Pr 1:7). Anything contrary to scripture is ignorance (Is 8:20). You should let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4). The Bible is right on every subject, and you must hate every contrary way (Ps 119:128). Rather than leaning to your own understanding, trust in the Lord with all your heart (Pr 3:5-6). He will direct the path of the prudent man (Ps 37:23).
Jesus Christ dealt prudently with knowledge; He was exalted and extolled, and He was very high (Is 52:13). He was of quick understanding with the spirit of knowledge to judge righteously (Is 11:1-5). He always dealt with knowledge. He is your example, so follow Him today in how you deal with the situations you will face.