“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 KJV)
Whenever I pray, for the times when I remember, I always say, “Lord, help me to bridle my tongue today,” because words are powerful and are incapable of being retracted after they are said.
I also discovered that presidents and other leaders of nations rule with full awareness of this great principle of the power of well-chosen words. Hence, when they want to address their countrymen, as they prepare speeches ahead of time, they jot down ideas, go through draft after draft before they eventually pass their written speeches to a committee of advisors, who would then, with their wealth of knowledge, proofread and make better the written speech, because they know that whatever is said cannot be retracted afterwards.
But as believers full of the Spirit, countless times, we let go of our guard when talking. Some of us talk without ceasing and without listening.
Beloved, in our opening text above, God is telling us that when a fool keeps quiet, he is deemed wise in the eyes of everyone because he doesn’t utter foolish things that would have made loud his foolishness. When one keeps quiet, he is respected and seen as one with understanding. Why? Because he listens.
In my high school days, I had so much respect for the quiet students who came last in my class. I also found out that my teachers loved them, too, at least if not for anything else but for their silence in class.
As believers, we must endeavour to talk less to people and talk more to God, because when we talk more to people, we reveal our greatest secrets to our enemy and give away our power, for “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21a KJV)
Apart from that, Christ also warns us about idle words. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36 KJV)
When a word is idle, it is baseless and senseless, and it lacks restraint and responsibility.
Friend, the God we serve is the Most High God, and he knows all things. He instructs us, “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19b) Therefore, let us endeavour to hold our peace always, no matter the temptation to speak. And when we do speak, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Colossians 4:6 KJV)
It isn’t a great thing to be called garrulous and talkative.
May we receive grace today to be men and women of few words, in Jesus’ name. Pray with me:
Prayer: O God, help me to bridle my tongue today. Give me the grace to be silent as much as You want today so that I can hear You clearly when You speak. Furthermore, help me to listen more when people talk and to talk less when I do talk. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission