Whenever the question of leadership arises, I think of King David of Israel and also of his son, King Solomon. David built an empire by war; Solomon continued to build it in peace. David subdued the neighbouring tribes by force; Solomon governed them in wisdom.
It was this wise King Solomon, who defined silence as a source of strength and prudence. He said that a wise man knows when to speak and when to be silent and that “a man of knowledge uses words with restraint and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he hold his tongue” (Proverbs 17:27-28). He said that: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
The Prime Minister of Barbados is well known for his restraint of speech. He speaks in the right circumstances, and when he speaks, he does so in defence of the rights of the afflicted and the oppressed and without plausible responses from those who scorns him. His speeches are always properly and deliberately thought out.
Wisdom is defined as our ability to determine what is right and then following the right course of action to achieve a predetermined accurate result. It exhibits the ability to develop sound judgements. King Solomon has this sound advice: “Do not forsake wisdom and she will guard you; love her and she will watch over you; prize her and she will exalt you; she will honour you if you embrace her” (Proverbs 4:6-8).
Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right and includes just and merciful adjudications. Wisdom teaches us the right way to do things. It gives us control over the best methods and the best means of doing things for our own good and the good of others.
Job’s friends accused him of sinning against God. They believed, as we do today, that if we trust and serve God, we would prosper no holds barred. But our faithfulness and loyalty to God may be tried, tested and then proven. Job’s response to his friends was: “Would a wise man answer with empty notions or fill his belly with the hot east wind? Would he argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value? (Job 15:2-3).
Job never deviated from his love for God and remained silent in his suffering. He recognized that God’s grace was sufficient for him. Prime Minister Stuart learnt from the Master Himself. According to Isaiah 53:7, Jesus was oppressed and afflicted but did not open His mouth. His oppressors led Him like a lamb to be slaughtered and like a sheep before His shearers but He did not open His mouth. Jesus kept His silence even when he faced His threatening accusers including the chief priest, Pilate and Herod. Christ Himself stated: “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things which defile a man” (Mathew 15:18-20).
God has prospered the Prime Minister of Barbados with wisdom. He was not a man of fame, wealth, power and interest in the world. He is the son of a maid, whose father was accidentally killed when he was only nine years old. Yet God chose him to lead this beautiful nation of Barbados during the period of the worst economic crisis the world has ever known. He is not a chatter-box, but leads the governance of this sovereign land having obtained the benefit of wisdom from above.