Proverbs 25:15 Dissected & Defined
By long forbearing (patiently waiting) is a prince (middle man) persuaded, and a soft tongue (considerate reply) breaketh the bone (changes opinions internally).
It is said that lightning can break a bone without piercing the flesh. This proverb contains an “underlying meaning” that represents a followship lesson from Solomon.
I have spent a large portion of my life in middle management. When you are under middle management you are at a great disadvantage. It is difficult to positively affect organizational direction. You may serve your leaders well, but it is hard to influence them. It’s true, it is easier to shake a tree from the top than from the bottom.
The Value of Your Opinion in Direction
Does this mean that your opinions are of no value to your manager’s leader? No, quite contrary. Without them your organization, ministry or family will go in the wrong direction. Many a leader has failed to advance by stifling the counsel of those who serve under him.
Become the Neck
So how do you become the type of person that can turn the leader’s head?
Solomon’s reference to a prince would refer to an authority that is second in command under the king. Simply put, in today’s vernacular this would be the middle man.
As a wife, child, or employee, your opinions are of great value to the middle man. (A husband under God; a manager under a boss, a child under a mother.) Yet, they may not be in a hurry to express your views to their authorities. You must be patient, you must forbear. But most importantly, you must respond with a sweet spirit. You should reply in such a way that never places outside pressure on their management, but rather stimulates internal persuasion within the manager.
Eventually, this bone breaking internal persuasion will bring your middle man to present your point of view. From there you will realize it is better to be the neck than the head. For surely it is the neck that turns the head!