27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.
Proverbs 17:27 (NLT)
In this article, we shall focus only on the first part of the above verse: A truly wise person uses few words. I like this part very much because I am a man of few words too. I don’t talk a lot. So this verse gives the impression that I must be very wise. However, this is not what it means. This verse is not reversible. In other words, just because a truly wise person uses few words, it does not mean that a person who uses few words must be wise. The context of this verse is not to encourage us to speak lesser. It means we should opt for simplicity. If we can convey a message with fewer words, do so. Everything else being equal, the simpler option will get us better results. Thus is the power of simplicity. God loves simplicity.
If we look at our world today, it is easy to understand why simplicity yields so much success. Let me give you some examples.
I am sure many of us who Sir Isaac Newton is. We learn about his work in school. His is famous for the 3 Newtonian Laws which many students have memorized whether they like it of not. His work had resulted in an explosion of science, which had caused science to triumph over theology for the first time. Science has become the forefront of human civilization. Humanity is free from the bondage of theology.
If you are to study deeper into history, Sir Isaac Newton was not the man who discovered the 3 Newtonian Laws. The basic ideas behind those laws were discovered long ago, even before his time by other pioneers like Galileo and Copernicus. What Newton did was he compiled all those discoveries into 3 simple laws. He was propelled to fame and fortune as the result of that. This was what he said with regards to his achievements:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants”
The “Giants” here referred to the earlier scientists who made the scientific discoveries that formed the basis of the 3 Newtonian Laws. These laws are still being used in modern engineering. All the modern structures, vehicles and machines you can see around you were designed based on these 3 laws. They are so simple that even teenagers can understand them, yet so powerful that our entire civilization can depend on them.
At the same time, this has caused a widespread interest in scientific discoveries. Interest in science grew. People started to realize that science and not theology that has the answer to their problems. You get sick because of germs and not because God wants to show you his sufficient grace.
Through simplicity, science has triumph over theology.
Another example is my favorite literature, The Science Of Getting Rich. I like this book not because I can get it for free. I like it because it is very simple. It gets right to the point without indulging into any non-essential stuffs. Today, there are many books on how to get rich but none can ever reach the simplicity of The Science Of Getting Rich. Think about this, the book was first published in 1910 and it is still relevant today, thanks to its simplicity.
There is one more: Sun Tzu Art Of War. This is not the only war book every published. There are also other books on the art or war, written by people in the West. However, many of us has only heard of Sun Tzu and not others. Sun Tzu’s greatest achievement is his simplicity. The principles in the book are so simple that they can be used in other areas like business, management and trading. Despite the different technological state, the principles there are still applicable today. I have read somewhere that this book is a required reading for US generals.
The final example I want to present here is Jesus himself. When Jesus was on earth, the theologians were the recognized Bible teachers. However they complicated they scriptures in such a way that on one knew what the scriptures really said. They had to rely on those theologians and that gave the theologians immerse powers.
However, when Jesus started his ministry, his teachings were so simple that everyone can understand it. Those who listened to him were ordinary folks like farmers and fishermen. They could understand him. Jesus had also presented them with a God who is different from the one propagated by the theologians.
The theologians presented a “God” who is very strict and always on the lookout to find faults in his people. This “God” loves to do perverted things to people like causing accidents, making people sick and poor to show his “sufficient grace”. In contrast, Jesus presented God as a loving person. Through Jesus, we learn about a God who wants to bless us in all things. God wants us to be rich, healthy, long life and be successful in every area in our lives. Whatever you desire, all you need to do is to believe you receive when you pray and it will be yours.
Jesus’ teachings were so simple and yet so powerful. At last, the theologians could not take it anymore and they pressure the Romans into crucifying him. The rest is history.
The above examples show us that there is power in simplicity. Great power does not come from complicating simple things. Great power comes from simplifying things that seem complex.
In conclusion, go for simplicity. Your life will be less complex and you will achieve more.