A fool never delights in true knowledge but only wants to express what’s on his mind. Proverbs 18:2
My ears were burning. They were trying to whisper in low tones, just two lockers away from mine… but my name was as obvious as if they’d been shouting. I glanced over at them, thinking they were talking to me. But their quickly averted eyes and secretive inward turning made it clear I wasn’t being invited into the conversations, but was instead the topic of it.
I wish I could say I’ve only ever been the victim of gossip.
Unfortunately, I have been guilty. Very guilty. I think the most guilty sometimes. The worst is when I’ve truly believed that what I was saying was with a pure heart and in the best interest of all involved. What made it gossip was the frustration buried deep inside that was crying out for validation, frustration yearning to find excuses for the tones of bitterness it was taking on. Yet, I wanted to be seen as pure, innocent… right.
It wasn’t until I encountered a group of women sitting in my home, discussing topics they were all passionate about and frustrated with the way these topics were being handled in a common circle friends. I heard the words, and felt that old feeling… my ears burning and my heart sinking.
Except this time, I wasn’t the topic of their righteous venting session… I was suddenly aware of how I looked and sounded in my own righteous venting sessions, and I was deeply ashamed of my behavior; my self-deception and reasonings for multiple destructive words I was convinced were ok.
When we aren’t willing to seek knowledge to the level of truly understanding, to the degree of viewing issues from a different perspective, we don’t have anything but our own opinions to base our judgments and feeling on. I think that when we give ourselves freedom to speak passionately without deep understanding of what might be beyond our own views, we begin to sound like pious fools – at least, this is how I suddenly felt about myself. True knowledge isn’t passionately believing something to be right, or real. It isn’t being the loudest voice, or the strongest opinion. True knowledge isn’t even being proven right.
I’m in the process of learning that the truest knowledge is information filtered through discernment, which comes out as wisdom. It isn’t opinions or passion, and it doesn’t need validation. It gives life to understanding and compassion. True knowledge lacks arrogance and pride, and deposits peace in the soul.