“You are snared with the words of your lips, you are caught by the speech of your mouth.” – Proverbs 6:2
How many times have we let something slip out of our mouths and the hot instant that it came out, we immediately knew it was wrong? What about all of the times you we have rehashed over and over again in our minds a certain conversation and then think, “If only I had sad this… or I should’ve said that?”
I have endured a season where I decided I needed to shut up. I felt that I had caused enough anxiety and turmoil for myself with idle speech that increased negativity and lack in my life. I figured that the best thing I could do was to simply shut up, be quiet and listen.
I had the revelation that to receive wisdom meant that I couldn’t be running my mouth. To listen for wisdom required me to admit that I was ignorant and that I had blind spots. If I expected to mature and grow past my pain points and get some understanding, I had better shut up. Thus the beginning of a shut up season!
Our words have power – the power to bring life and the power to bring death to ourselves and those around us. Our words can work for us or they can work against us. Our words can bring increase and edification or they can bring destruction and devastation. The greater our realm of influence over the lives of other people, the greater the impact our words have for good or bad.
In other words, if you are a leader or someone who influences others, your words carry a heavier weight. If you are a parent, your words can set in motion the trajectory of your children’s lives forever.
We bring things into existence by the creative power of our words. Words generate feelings. Feelings generate actions. Actions generate more action that has a ripple effect on the lives of everyone we touch.
We have a choice. We can chose to discipline our minds and the words that come out of our mouths or we can choose to let fly any and all words based on how we feel in any given moment. Either way, there are consequences to our words. We will be held accountable. In Matthew 12:36 we read, “but I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak.”
The key nuggets that I have learned (and am still learning through ups and downs) are:
Let My Words Be Few
If I have nothing of value to say, if it is not within the realm of my authority and responsibility and if has already been said before, then there is no need for me to say it. Check out Ecclesiastes 5:2 where we are reminded to not be rash with our mouths and to let our words be few. The more I run my mouth, the greater the chance to mess up by saying something I shouldn’t say.
Listening Increases Wisdom
The saying is true. As humans, we only have one mouth and two ears for listening. We learn by many methods, but listening to God and listening to others brings quite a bit of revelation. We can learn a lot about people by simply listening to them for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. We can only receive this insight we shut up and let others talk and reveal their hearts. The inverse is also true – the nature of our hearts are revealed when we go on and on, when we over-speak someone while they are trying to talk to get our point in, or when we simply don’t even let someone get a word in at all.
Being Noisy & Clamorous
When we contrast the way the devil approaches us and the way God guides us, the differences are quite astounding. In I Peter 5:8 the devil is described as a noisy, roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but in 1 Kings 19: 9-12, we see that God didn’t speak in the earthquake, wind or fire but in a “still, small voice.”
An example of this would be the pressure to say something that comes upon us so strong sometimes in a discussion. Or, the feeling that you absolutely must get your point in right now. The angry, impatient spirit that demands to be heard now — is the equivalent of the noisy, roaring lion of our flesh or our ego pushing us to run our mouths unadvisedly.
Or another more vivid example of being noisy would be the woman in Proverbs 9:13 who was depicted as “foolish, clamorous, simple and knowing nothing” or the woman in Proverbs 7:11 who was “loud and stubborn”. To clamor is to be tumultuous, boisterous and disquieted. A person who clamors is being led by emotion and has not learned to trust God. If I am a clamorous woman, I can be easily deceived, because I’m too loud and noisy to listen for wisdom. Ouch!
B.G. Brown writes in The Value of A Quiet Spirit, “Satan appeals to our emotions with push…rush…hurry…which leaves us with a spirit of impatience and anxiety until we accomplish our desires…Our Lord appeals to our spirit, mind and conscience in a calm, gentle, and patient way… when you hear from satan, you are closed to reason and cocksure. When you hear from the Lord, you are open to counsel”. Wow. What a word! Talking too much creates clamor, rush and anxiety. Being quiet enables us to hear and be open to counsel. I don’t know about you, but I need wise counsel every day!
Quietness Brings Confidence
Lastly we read in Isaiah 30:15 that “in quietness and confidence shall be our strength.” When we are confident we are strong and secure. Confidence has no need for excessive speech. Confidence is evidenced by quiet power in action, not continual nervous speaking. Usually insecurity is manifested in a need to be heard, seen and in excessive talking. When we lose our trust in God and in ourselves, we will get anxious and uptight. When this happens, we will talk and clamor too much. Naturally, when we talk too much, we use idle words, words that work against us, and words that set the things we don’t want in motion.
As we continue to embrace our collective callings and walk in our purpose, we will find it quite necessary to endure a shut up season. As a matter of fact, if we are to continue to grow and mature, we will always be listening more than speaking.
I encourage you to always position yourself to grow and gain wisdom through listening and reflection. If you want to continue to grow, there is no other way than through being still, being quiet and learning how to shut up and listen!
Until next time,
For more information on walking in emotional wholeness or ending dead-end relationships, order your copy of Get Out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW! A Christian Woman’s Guide on How to Get Real, Healed & Move On TODAY! Available at http://www.amazon.com in paperback or Kindle or for an autographed copy go to www.tonikabreeden.com