Ecclesiastes 3:7 says: “…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” There are a lot of passages that speak about not speaking, of holding one’s tongue, simply put, not talking. Psalm 37:7 – “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” 62:5 – “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” and finally, although there are plenty more, Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

We have all seen that one person who just yells, they yell at pretty much everything, complain about everything and everyone. It is easy to sit and wonder how such a person can ever be happy. Now i don’t mean those occasional conversations where two good friends vent a little. There is something about letting off a little steam once in awhile, but to constantly air one’s disdain for everything is quite another thing. Nobody likes complainers, grumps, and people full of visceral. There is a season, a time, a moment if you will when you may be required to speak up. It may be passionate, full of animation and octaves above your normal speaking voice, just be sure it is warranted and out of character.

If you sit in a meeting with me you will rarely hear me speak. i take two bits of advice very seriously, first, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” (-Unkown) Proverbs 17:28 speaks to this idea; “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” The second piece of advice, “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” (President Theodore Roosevelt) ok, maybe not the “big stick” part but certainly the speaking softly, Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Here is my point, we are challenged throughout Scripture to “watch our tongues” and “speak wisely” and “thoughtfully”. To measure our words, to speak only what builds up and not what tears down. To wait until the very last second possible to vent, and then wait, a second more. It is not easy but in our words, we should only build up the Church, not bring criticism and in our silence, we should reveal the heart of Christ not the will of man. So, i say to us, “In our words, and in our silence, Thy Kingdom Come.”

You are loved,

cj

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