At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: But a fool layeth open his folly.Proverbs 13:16
This proverb supplies us with a good example of how one half of the verse illuminates the other half. We are told that a prudent man deals with knowledge. That sounds good, but what does it mean precisely? We find out by looking at the contrast. The fool lays his folly open. He is open and vocal about the stupid thing he is just about to do.
The prudent man, the godly man, keeps his cards close to his chest. He does not say everything he is thinking. He does not share his plans with everybody. He does not announce on Facebook that he is going to go here and there, and do business, and make money (Jas. 4:14).
It is better, as our proverb goes, to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.
Some Christians might struggle with an aspect of this. It doesn’t seem honest or transparent to them. Shouldn’t Christians be open and vulnerable? No. They shouldn’t. The prudent man is cagey and canny.
There are things a man should share with his wife, and with no one else. There are things he should say to his family, and no one else. There are views that a man should tell his closest friends, and no one else. And then there are the things he should be willing to say to anyone.
This is not hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is when you say A to one person and not A to another. I am talking about saying A to one person, A and B to another, and A, B, and C to a third. And to have some notion of which group you are with before you start talking. A prudent man understands the importance of security clearances.