Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Pray more, speak less.”
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” That clever line is usually attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, or Samuel Johnson. But whoever spoke it, it was obviously inspired by Proverbs 17:28. A wise person thinks before they speak, while a fool just blurts out whatever pops into his or her head. However, even the fool stands a chance of being thought wise if he would just be quiet. Sadly, fools are seldom quiet.
I used to be related to a man who fits that description. He is loud and obnoxious by nature. Worse, he has an opinion about everything, and it’s inconceivable to him that other people might not be interested in hearing his opinions. So he shares them often, and loudly, and usually with multiple exclamation points. Most of what he says is silly nonsense, and all he succeeds in accomplishing by making those statements is to convince everyone that he really is silly and nonsensical. But on and on he goes, spitting and sputtering and spouting off.
Most of us would benefit from speaking less and listening more. And when it is time to speak, most of us would benefit from praying more about it before we speak. Ask God to give you the words He wants you to speak. Invite the Holy Spirit to influence your speech so that it honors God and blesses others.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a student of history and that I read many biographies. One of the men I have great respect for from American history is George Washington. He was a dignified and quiet man who had the habit of listening more than he spoke. Most of the time Washington would simply sit and listen as everyone else spoke. He himself would say little. Instead he would carefully consider what everyone else had to say; he would give lots of thought to what he himself wanted to say; and then when he finally did speak, his words had substance and were profound. Everyone knew that when Washington finally decided to speak, it would be with words that were worth listening to.
Most of us speak too much and listen too little. And we also speak too quickly without praying about it first. Our words should honor God and bless others. So pray first and speak second.