Week 8 - Are you a Nabal or an Abigail?

"A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards."
Proverbs 29:11

Have you ever said something and immediately thought, "Oooh... yeah... probably shouldn't have said that?" I know I have! It is a knee jerk reaction for us to say the first thing that comes to mind. When someone is being critical towards us or questioning something we have done or becoming just plain mad at us, our first reaction is just that... to react!

One observation I made about this week's verse is the difference between a fool and a wise man. Did you notice that the Bible does not even give the fool the courtesy of being a foolish man? No... a fool is not given the privilege of being considered a part of the human race! 

I love reading through Proverbs. The last time I read through it, it became very clear to me that wisdom involves not only knowing what to say, but it is also knowing when not to say something. 

Through personal experience (and getting it wrong many times), I have found that there is time and a place to bring things to my husband. If I have had an overwhelming day, the first thing I want to do when he walks through the door after work is to unload everything that has been building up inside of me. I want to share the burden that I have been dealing with the entire day. What I fail to realize is that my husband also has been dealing with stressful things, and I have just "unleashed" all of my problems onto his shoulders.

And I wonder why he seems upset...

Now, I am not saying that I should not share my burdens with my husband. I believe, as a husband and wife, you are one unit and should deal with everything together, but there is a time and a place to share those concerns. For instance... after his belly is full and he has a moment to unwind.

I have always loved the story of Abigail (I Samuel 25). For those of you who do not know the story, here is a brief recap. Abigail is married to a wicked man named Nabal. I Samuel 25:3 refers to him as a "churlish" man and "evil in his doings." 

One day, while Nabal was out in his fields, David (future king of Israel) sent his messengers to Nabal to request food for his men. Nabal became very wroth and was indignant that someone would ask for help from him when he has worked so hard to get what he had. (vs 10-11)

When David heard what had happened, he became upset and sought to take some of his men to Nabal and kill him. Abigail was warned though of her husband's actions and sought to rectify the situation. She personally went out to meet the army of men David was bringing their way and fell at his feet. Not only did she petition him, but she brought the food her husband has unwisely refused.

Because of her actions, she was able to diffuse an ugly situation. 

Now you are probably wondering how this story ties in with our verse in Proverbs. Abigail did not wish to hide her actions from her husband, so she went to tell him what she had done.

"And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light."

Even though she was probably feeling guilty for going behind his back, she waiting until the morning light because telling him while he was drunken was unwise. She could have told him, so that she could get it "off her chest," but instead, she chose to wait until he was reasonable. You never know what violent reaction he may have had if she told him while he was drunk. 

Use wisdom and discretion with everything that you say. There is a time and place for everything. Only a fool tells everything that is on his mind! 

Proverbs 15:28 says, "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer; but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things." Meaning, think before you talk... only wicked people "pour" out their thoughts.

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