Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
When you don’t know, don’t say anything. It is better to remain silent and thought wise than to speak reveal folly.
Several years ago, I was involved in a real estate negotiation that this proverb became an intricate part of the deal. As the Lead Pastor, I was the point person when a neighboring business was interested in our property. They had their eye on our property for awhile and wanted to pick it up at a bargain base price.
Our church was growing very fast and needed room to accommodate the growth. My architect was working hard to fit a new facility on our current property and disclosed to me that it would be impossible.
When they approached me with their offer, I was amazed. It was a good deal; however, deep within me this Solomon’s wisdom whispered, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent.” So, I kept quiet. I was a novice in negotiations; they were experts — seasoned pros.
As I kept my mouth closed, the deal got better and better. The numbers soared to our advantage. Finally, they became exhausted by their talking, trying to persuade me, and get me to agree on the deal. I looked across the table and said, “Yes, we can make that happen.”
We had set a new benchmark in the community for real estate. The property values skyrocketed after our deal. My architect was thrilled. We purchased a prime piece of property and added an increase in our funds. In that one deal, our church increased our asset balance sheet enormously.
Now, I’ve already acknowledged that I’m not that wise — I seemed wise because I kept my mouth shut. It paid off handsomely.
When you don’t know — don’t say anything.