Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Lord, Shut My Mouth!"

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." (Proverbs 17:28)

To paraphrase Solomon: "It's better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." Still, you must admit, the King James phrase, "[H]e that shutteth his lips…" has a nice ring to it. Many times I’ve regretted not having spoken a word of exhortation or encouragement; but the times I have lain awake, berating myself for something said in the heat of the moment, or just simply because of my need to be heard, far outweigh these. The previous verse says, "He that hath knowledge spareth his words." You would think the person who knows the most would have the most to say. But, as you well know, the one least qualified to give an opinion, is usually the first to offer one.

What makes it so painfully hard for us to leave things unsaid? Is it a need to feel important? As you read the Gospels, you realize that Jesus was a Man of few words, especially when you consider all He could have said. There were times He chose to use a gesture, or merely a look, and yet these silent instances spoke volumes. You and I, unfortunately, often employ a sharp tongue, when a meaningful silence would have sufficed. Or we ply others with elaborate explanations, when a direct answer would have been far more helpful.

Here's one more incentive for word-sparing: Maybe, if we talked less, we could think more. And on that note, I close.

It only takes one bullet to kill a man…if you aim straight!

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