A Wise Proverb
“It is a foolish person that makes known his vexation in the same day, but the shrewd one is covering over a dishonor.”—Prov. 12:16.
How do you react when someone unjustly criticizes or speaks against you? As Proverbs 12:16 notes, a very common reaction among imperfect humans is to flare up. Many persons immediately, “in the same day,” give in to their vexation and heatedly reply. But what about “the shrewd one”? In using the expression “the shrewd one,” Proverbs does not mean here some crafty person, such as one who schemes revenge. Rather, the favorable aspect of shrewdness is highlighted. In Proverbs it is linked with knowledge and wisdom, with a prudent person who thinks a matter through instead of reacting just from emotion. (Prov. 13:16; 14:8; 22:3) In the face of some unjust criticism or petty insult that seems to bring dishonor, the shrewd person restrains his tongue. He remains in control, instead of letting the other person or the situation control him. And he certainly benefits from such prudence in that he thus avoids the fights that frequently come to the person who rashly responds when his feelings are hurt.