August 31st 2009

To Speak Or Not To Speak…

“Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.”
Proverbs 10:14 (NKJV)

The apostle James, the brother of Jesus, alerts us to the power of the tongue. He describes it as a fire that sets so many things alight. (James 3:2-10)

How often we just let slip our tongue, our guard is down and we say the very thing that ought not to be said.

Wise old Solomon was all too aware of this human failing, so in his instruction to his son he laboured long on this question of when to and when not to speak. Look at the wisdom of the proverb above. Because we know something does not mean it is right or appropriate to say. It is this unbridled use of the tongue that James is very concerned about.

Information (or knowledge as the bible refers to it) is only part of the picture, we also need understanding. Understanding gives meaning to the information that we obtain. Without understanding, information can be very damaging. Solomon understood this, probably from bitter experience and observation of others, and he imparted wisdom to his son. He instructed him to store up knowledge and not to act upon the bit of knowledge that he had, but to continue to gather information. Isn’t it surprising how the addition of other facts can completely change the conclusions we draw from the information obtained earlier?

If we put this advice into the vernacular we might say that Solomon was teaching his son “to keep his mouth closed” and not to jump to conclusions.

Today we will hear things that can lead us to make the wrong decisions about people and events. Let’s learn from wise old Solomon to keep our peace and not be hasty to speak.

Our Father in heaven, help me to consider what I say before I say it. Help me to reflect the love you have for me to all I meet today, in the kind and thoughtful way I use my tongue. Let all that I say bring glory to you.

Study by David Stirk