(Proverbs 25:20 KJV) As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The context doesn’t really help us. If we look back and consider this part of the previous verses then the pattern says it is bad. If we look at the next verse the pattern says it is good. For today let’s ask ourselves a few questions about the “garment” (899b). It is interesting that the root for this word means treachery or covering. I think the idea is that you are covering something up. To take off a coat in this context would mean to expose that which does not need to be exposed.
This could be pointing out that there are times when we could remain silent and instead we blurt out some true statement that did not need to be said. In many cases, all that does is add fuel to the fire that is already burning. I can think of many times when I was working outside on a cold day and after I got warmed up I didn’t need the coat any more. If I took it off without the proper preparation it was another story.
So? There may be times to speak the truth in love. The point here might be that we need to be investing a lot of work into the love before we come to that brief moment where the truth will be accepted. As Paul said, “Love is patient, love is kind.....”