Proverbs 17:27-28 & Proverbs 18:2-6

The last two verses of Proverbs 17 always make me stop and do a little self-inventory . . . and that business of ‘talking’ flows on into chapter 18, with verse 6 giving warning to the fool that “his mouth invites a beating.”
I think I was born with words.  I’m not sure if I started talking early, but once I started talking, there was just no shutting me up.  My Spiritual gifting is as a pastor and teacher, and that calling requires words.  You may not feel particularly suited to your gifting, but I feel very comfortable in mine, thank you very much.  And there are the warnings about misuse and abuse.  For everyone that talks too much, there are those that don’t talk enough.  A wise man must talk, because I need to hear from his wisdom, and there’s no other way for him to communicate with me but with his words, spoken or written.  A fool must talk, because he’s driven to put his thoughts on external speaker, but I don’t need to hear from his foolishness.  Granted, I can learn from the foolishness of the foolish . . . often more about what not to do than what to do, but I can learn from them.  However, once I’ve learned my lessons from them, I really want to move on to more fruitful territory . . . and give my ears and mind a rest.  But I can never get enough of a truly wise man or woman.  Their words are music to my heart!  I store them up and they provide a tune to dance to!  Their words are cause for a party in my spirit, and I smile and take it in.  As I listen and ponder . . . and Solomon speaks to me . . . I determine that I don’t want to foolishly expend words, but I want to speak wisely, and keep silent wisely.  Not always easy, but always right.  Oh God, help!