Proverbs 14:7, Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Are you nice? Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines this word as soft, tender, dainty, delicate, fine.
This is indeed a word that fits the times we live in. Soft and dainty, delicate.
Leo Durocher, the scrappy Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player and manager of the 40's, 50's and 60's didn't think too much of being nice. He wrote a book called "Nice guys finish last."
We are so nice. We sometimes try to be nice to a fault.
We are deathly afraid to be rude. We have been taught to be polite. We have been taught to never offend. We have been taught to be nice.
It is not in our nature to cause someone to think poorly of us.
We want to be liked at all times and we do not want to cause discomfort to others.
The word "nice" is not a Bible word. God does not tell us to be nice. He tells us to do right. We are to follow righteousness. Righteousness is doing right.
Righteousness and being nice are two different things. Being nice is of the world and being righteous is of God.
This verse tells us that at times we may have to be what some would consider rude. It says GO!
Get out of the presence of another person when you have a perception. Not proof. Just a perception.
Err on the side of what you think is right. Don't risk your testimony in order to be nice.
Perhaps you may have to be rude.
Perhaps you may have to interrupt him or her in mid-sentence and leave immediately and not hear the end of the wonderful sentence that waxes eloquent from the mouth of the foolish man or woman.
Since we are so nice perhaps we have to practice being rude. We know how to be nice because we have practiced it all of our lives.
But if we want to be graciously rude at times we may have to start out quite rough in our rudeness before we learn the art of gracious rudeness.
I'm sorry, I don't want to listen to you any longer!
Excuse me, what you're saying is not good for me to hear!
What you are saying is not good for me, so I'm leaving.
Pardon me, the Bible, which I believe from cover to cover does not verify what you are saying and I don't want to hear any more!
No, I don't want to hear your joke if it is off color or dirty or contains bad language!
This verse tells us to be perceptive in our hearing and to be discerning about who we spend time, any time, with.
It tells us to favor with our presence and our ears those with lips of knowledge and to separate, discriminate if you will, from those without the lips of knowledge.