Have you ever thought about the concept of people not knowing who you are in 100 years? Your children’s grandchildren might know your name and a few facts about you, but that’s most likely it. When you think about that, it can make you wonder what kind of a difference you’re making now, and what kind of wisdom you’re imparting on the world while you can.
Many people don’t have the platform to earn their names in history books. To be honest, though, that’s not what we’re after in regards to leaving a legacy. We want to know we’ve made an impact on the lives of our families and the issues we care about in our world. Not because we want that paragraph written about us for kids to read one day in class, but because we desire to leave this world knowing we did all we could to glorify God and help others along the way.
Why does it so often feel as if we aren’t making a difference at all, then? God has given us gifts to use and wisdom to spread, but we can’t seem to find the voice to shout out what we know. Why are the voices of fools louder than ours?
Wisdom against folly
There will always be people with louder voices. Regardless of the truth you want to share or the difference you want to make, foolish voices will shout over you. Unfortunately, others will often hear the voices of the foolish above yours. Satan will ensure enough chaos abounds to distract those from hearing your wisdom.
Does this mean you must shout all the louder, hoping someone will hear you in the sea of folly? Hoping your children will listen to you instead of the foolishness of culture. Hoping your family will understand your love for Jesus over the scientists telling them you are the foolish one. And hoping your friend will hear the compassion in your voice over the judgement they hear from everyone else regarding their sin.
We all desire to ensure our wisdom will be heard above the folly. If it’s not, how will we make a difference while we have the chance? Making our voices louder, however, is not the answer. The teacher in Ecclesiastes knew this. Despite his uncertainty about many things, he knew “the quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.” He knew it is better to continue speaking wisdom than wage war against the fools whose voices rise above the wise.
These are difficult truths to hold onto, though. For we often lose sight of truth and wisdom in the face of folly. Here are a few ways to remind yourself that your quiet wisdom can be and is heard above folly.
It’s not always the right time and place to speak the wisdom God has given you. This isn’t to say hold back from speaking truth when the Spirit prompts you to do so. Rather, take note of the situation and use discernment to know if it would prove better to remain quiet.
Jesus warned His disciples to not throw their pearls to pigs. In other words, use wisdom to know if speaking the truth will make a situation even worse than it already is. If someone is speaking foolishly with no thought to listening to your wisdom, then tread carefully, for the Holy Spirit might warn you to remain still for the time being.
There it is. The “p” word. The word we don’t like to pray about for fear God will give us situations in which to use it and grow. Let’s put all cards on the table. We all struggle with this. Especially when it comes to our desires for people to hear the wisdom God has given us. We want our friends and family to get it the moment the words leave our lips.
It doesn’t work like that, though. Rare is the moment when someone hears the truth for the first time and immediately accepts and believes. This is especially true in our culture, because if they haven’t heard about Jesus, they’ve heard about a whole lot of foolishness instead. We must remember that it takes time for people to hear truth and accept it. So keep on speaking quiet words of wisdom.
Know someone is always listening
We fear if folly shouts louder, no one will hear us at all. That’s simply not true, though. Someone is always listening. Maybe it’s not the person your words are directed toward, but your words won’t return void. Quiet wisdom, you are heard.
The one you speak to may act as if they don’t hear you, but our brains are wondrous creations. If your words entered their brain, there’s a good chance it stuck. It could be years down the road when they remember what you said and realize the truth. You never know just how great of an impact you can have. You never know when someone will hear your truth.
Above all, remember Jesus wins in the end. It’s not our job to change hearts or convince someone of the truth. We don’t need to worry about raising our voices louder than the foolish. It’s our job to share our wisdom as the Holy Spirit leads. He does the rest. He softens hearts and works in the lives of those you love.
If you’re speaking quiet words of wisdom, you are impacting the people with which you come in contact. You are leaving a legacy that will point others to Jesus.
Let’s Talk About It: How can you hold fast to God’s truth and speak out regardless of foolish voices?