Read: Proverbs 17
Key Verses: Proverbs 17:28. “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.”
Devotional: I have lots of opinions. I can develop an opinion on topics that I didn’t even know I cared about but if I’m asked, I’ll have an opinion. If I’m honest, I’ll sometimes develop an opinion even when I’m not asked. Perhaps like me, you too can also develop an opinion on topics that you never thought you even cared about. I’m not sure that developing an opinion is the problem though, the problem arises when we always feel the need to voice those opinions.
This is a principle that I have tried to build into my teenage sons as they have gotten older. As I’ve gotten older myself I have slowly, sometimes very slowly learned to carry myself with a quiet confidence. I strive to fully take in a situation before giving in to the temptation to speak.
Perhaps you struggle in this area as well. When we enter a new environment we sometimes feel the need to justify our presence so we rattle off whatever comes to our mind. We feel the need to speak when speaking isn’t necessary. We’re uncomfortable with the quietness so we ramble in an effort to fill the dead air.
Proverbs 17:28 provides us with a powerful nugget of wisdom in how to navigate those moments. Rather than filling dead air with nonsense and running the risk of proving your own foolishness try instead to just be quiet. Allow me to suggest a few filter questions for you to use as you seek to say less:
That last filter is the toughest to apply. We forget that we as Christ followers should actually be following Jesus; doing what He did, saying what He said in the way that He said it. Jesus makes his M.O. pretty clear in John 10:10 when He says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
That sounds pretty clear right? Shouldn’t that be our goal as well, to bring life. Too often we open our mouth and ruin our witness for Christ. Here’s a thought to consider:
“Just because something could be said doesn’t mean that it needs to be said and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are the one that needs to say it.”
Take Action: Take some time this week to practice being quiet. When you’re given the opportunity to speak, pause before doing so and run your potential statement/comment/criticism through the above filters.
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