I always heard that it’s best to sit there silently and let them “think” you’re stupid, then, to open your mouth and “prove” it. I know – that’s funny, but there is also a lot of wisdom in the statement. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards.” Why do some people just have to have the last word? They can’t stand not putting their “two cents” in, whether they have any knowledge of the subject or not. Of course, there are also those whose Momma’s never taught them, “If you can’t say something nice, then, don’t say anything!” In our society today, everyone’s opinion and thoughts do count, but that doesn’t mean that you have to share them with the world!
There’s a lot to be said for “smiling and keeping your mouth shut.” Is it really imperative that “everyone” knows what you think about every subject? Do you really have to tell someone who is overweight that they could stand to go on a diet? Do you think they don’t already know that? Do you have to voice your opinion and debate politics, sports, and which is the proper way to hang toilet paper – over or under? I personally like it over, but I’m not going to “unfriend you” if you don’t. Friends, we need to put things in perspective. What is truly important?
We must follow the cry of the Restoration preachers who said, “Speak where the Bible speaks, and stay silent where the Bible is silent.” There are times when it is wrong, not to speak up – for the unborn, the ill, and the helpless, but for the most part, “Silence is golden.” We need to learn to “agree to disagree” with our mouths shut, and when we do speak, it should be done with kindness. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1) We have a lot of anger in our country today. We must, as James encouraged, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). We were given one mouth and two ears, therefore, we should listen twice as much as we talk. Our mouths were also made to shut, but not our ears – they should always be open.
May we emulate the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Simply blessed, Courtney